(Yicai Global) July 25 -- Betta Pharmaceuticals has pledged to cut its list prices for its icotinib hydrochloride anticancer drug from CNY66.62 (USD9.84) per tablet and CNY1,399 (USD206.60) per pack to CNY64.05 and CNY1,345.05, respectively, in all of China, the firm said in a statement today.
China's national social insurance fund management center recently conducted talks with producers of 17 antineoplastic drugs (as part of negotiations with pharmaceutical companies in 39 countries) to determine new prices following changes in the value-added tax policy. The price cuts Hangzhou, Zhejiang province-based Betta Pharmaceuticals has now announced are a product of these talks.
China's food and drug regulator approved the pharmaceutical compound as a first-grade new anticancer medicine. It was released in 2011 as the first small-molecule targeted anticancer drug that a Chinese company ever developed. It is used to treat locally advanced or metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer after the failure of at least one prior chemotherapy regimen.
Betta Pharmaceuticals will file for the price adjustments with provincial drug tender and procurement authorities before Sept. 1, and the adjusted prices of the medicine will remain effective until Dec. 31 next year, per the statement. The price cuts are based on increased profits flowing from the VAT policy change and thus will have no major impact on the company's operations, it said.
'[T]he Government has been taking active steps to reduce originator pharmaceutical prices, including through aggressive negotiation,' the World Health Organization reported on its website.
Also, Pharmaceuticals made abroad, including cancer drugs, will be exempt from import taxes starting from May 1 to improve drug access and public health in China, state media China Daily reported in April.
Editor: Ben Armour