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Pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement in China: When the whole is less than the sum of its parts

Hu, Jia and Mossialos, Elias (2016) Pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement in China: When the whole is less than the sum of its parts. Health Policy, 120 (5). pp. 519-534. ISSN 0168-8510

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2016.03.014

Abstract

Background In recent years, there has been rapid growth in pharmaceutical spending in China. In addition, the country faces many challenges with regards to the quality, pricing and affordability of drugs. Pricing and reimbursement are important aspects of pharmaceutical policy that must be prioritised in order to address the many challenges. Methods This review draws on multiple sources of information. A review of the academic and grey literature along with official government statistics were combined with information from seminars held by China's State Council Development Research Center to provide an overview of pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement in China. Results Pricing and reimbursement policy were analysed through a framework that incorporates supply-side policies, proxy-demand policies and demand-side policies. China's current pharmaceutical policies interact in such a way to create dysfunction in the form of high prices, low drug quality, irrational prescribing and problems with access. Finally, the country's fragmented regulatory environment hampers pharmaceutical policy reform. Conclusions The pricing and reimbursement policy landscape can be improved through higher drug quality standards, greater market concentration, an increase in government subsidies, quality-oriented tendering, wider implementation of the zero mark-up policy, through linking reimbursement with rational prescribing, and the promotion of health technology assessment and comparative effectiveness research. Addressing broader issues of regulatory fragmentation, the lack of transparency and corruption will help ensure that policies are created in a coherent, evidence-based fashion.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0168...
Additional Information: © 2016 Elsevier Ireland
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2018 15:28
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 15:28
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86431

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