Drugmakers manufacturers average 62% discount to get listed by Chinese state insurance

Staff are seen inside a pharmacy in Suifenhe
An employee is seen inside a pharmacy following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Suifenhe, a city bordering Russia in Heilongjiang province, China, April 15, 2020. REUTERS / Huizhong Wu / File Photo

December 3, 2021

BEIJING (Reuters) – Pharmaceutical companies have agreed to cut prices by an average of 61.7% on 67 drugs covered by China’s national health insurance in a new round of negotiations, authorities said. China said on Friday.

Being included on the National Returned Drug List has helped many global drugmakers such as Merck & Co Inc and Novartis AG record strong product sales growth in China in recent years, as Their products are more widely available.

The 67 newly added drugs are brand-name drugs with no generic versions available in China and include blockbusters such as Eli Lilly & Co’s psoriasis drug Taltz and multiplex Johnson & Johnson’s Darzalex myeloma, according to the National Health Care Security Administration (NHSA).

Products from local companies such as InnoCare Pharma Ltd and BeiGene Ltd are also included.

Last year, drugmakers agreed to cut prices on average by about 50% on more than 100 drugs, underscoring China’s strong bargaining power, as it sought to make more drugs at lower prices. affordable for its 1.4 billion people.

The NHSA official, Huang Huabo, said at a press conference, without naming the product, the deepest discount among 67 drugs was 94%.

During negotiations with Biogen Inc for the rare neuromuscular disease drug Nusinersen, the government negotiator told a company official that the company should “work harder” on reducing prices. , stressing that the government’s price cap is non-negotiable, before the parties reach an agreement, video clip from state broadcaster CCTV shows.

Biogen did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

In another example of heavy state influence, Danish diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk A/S last month said its sales growth will slow to 3% in 2022 due to prices fell and consumption in China fell.

Last month, insulin manufacturers agreed to reduce prices by an average of 48 percent to qualify for bulk supplies to public hospitals.

For some of the drugs that have been included in the reimbursement list, such as PD-1 inhibitors from Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co Ltd and BeiGene, the government has expanded their coverage by adding more diseases.

In addition to the 67 brand-name drugs, seven generic versions have also been added to the list, while 11 drugs of low clinical value have been removed, the NHSA said.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Christopher Cushing) Drugmakers manufacturers average 62% discount to get listed by Chinese state insurance

Bobby Allyn

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