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MOH, NDRC, MOHRSS Release Drug, Medical Service Pricing Omnibus

Nov. 22, 2009

The “Opinions on Reforming Drug Pricing and Medical Service Pricing Mechanisms” was jointly released by the Ministry of Health (MOH), the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security (MOHRSS) on November 23.
The document stipulated the following four main goals for drug and medical service pricing:
1) To improve the drug pricing administration. The government is responsible for the pricing of essential drugs and basic emergency drugs, as well as medical service prices at nonprofit medical institutions. Prices for other drugs and medical services will be determined by the market.
2) To properly adjust drug prices, lower the prices of expensive drugs, and maintain price levels of clinically necessary inexpensive drugs – this way it is ensured that manufacturers continue production of these items.
3) To raise the price of medical services provided by medical personnel (such as diagnosis, treatment, nursing, and surgery) and lower fees for examinations using large medical equipment (such as CT scans and MRIs).
4) To strictly supervise the cost of drugs and their market prices.
The government also listed the four basic principles of the pricing reform: To combine government intervention and market adjustment for the administration of pricing, to focus on essential drug usage and drug innovation, to urge drug manufacturers and medical institutions to improve drug and service quality, and to coordinate the pricing reform with a comprehensive medical reform.