China adds blockbuster drugs to insurance list after price cuts - (NASDAQ via NewsPoints Desk)

  • More than three dozen drugs will be covered by China's basic insurance schemes after drugmakers agreed to price cuts, as reported NASDAQ Wednesday.

  • China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security stated that 36 drugs would be returned to the National Reimbursable Drugs List (NRDL) in exchange for price cuts of 44 percent on average relative to 2016 retail prices.

  • The ministry updated the NRDL in February after an eight-year break when it disclosed that it was negotiating prices for 45 high-value drugs.

  • "After the negotiations, the majority of the imported medicines will be cheaper than in surrounding international markets, greatly reducing the financial burden on Chinese patients from healthcare costs," the ministry explained.

  • The newly covered products include AstraZeneca's Brilinta, Celgene's Revlimid, Johnson & Johnson's Zytiga, Novartis' Afinitor, Novo Nordisk's Victoza and Roche's Avastin, Herceptin and MabThera.

  • The ministry noted that 31 of the drugs were "Western" therapies, while the remaining drugs were traditional Chinese medicines.

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