(Yicai Global) Aug. 6 -- China aims to reduce the prices that consumers have to pay for cancer drugs to cope with the increased number of such patients.
The newly formed State Medical Insurance Administration pursues to make many cancer drugs eligible for reimbursement, national newspaper People's Daily reported, adding that the negotiations with medical insurers will be completed by the end of next month.
Last year, China had some 4.3 million new cases of cancer and 2.8 million deaths, according to the National Cancer Center. The increase is attributed to the aging population demographics, a high level of smokers among Chinese men, and air pollution.
Some 10 foreign and eight domestic medical companies have announced their interest to join the initiative and the local governments of Gansu and Hubei have already cut some prices. Experts have proposed treatment options for cancers involving the blood, lungs, and lymph nodes, among others, to be included in the program.
China scrapped the import tariffs on anticancer drugs in May and lowered the value-added tax for such medicines down to 3 percent.
Editor: Emmi Laine