8 June 2016
Nationwide Drug Pricing Probe Starts in June
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has recently issued the Circular on Carrying out Nationwide Pricing Inspection on Drugs, requiring relevant price authorities at all levels to launch pricing probe on drugs around the country.
For a period from 1 June to 31 October 2016, the probe will cover pricing practices of drug makers, medical institutions, centres for disease control and prevention, blood banks, centralised drug procurement platforms, drug procurement agencies and relevant industry associations. The probe will focus on examination of abnormal fluctuations in the price of API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) and type of drug to solve problems manifestly reflected by the general public and business enterprises.
The circular emphasised that price authorities at all levels should be responsive to complaints and clues, strictly enforce the directive by conducting random checks on inspection targets and making timely disclosure of the investigation situation and results. Efforts should be made to step up publicity and promptly announce cases under investigation, effectively utilise the hotline “12358” as a price monitoring platform, to encourage society participation in regulating drug pricing behaviours. Meetings are to be widely held to reprimand drug price irregularities and give warnings to related businesses and medical institutions, specifically dealing with issues commonly and universally found. As strong deterrent, typical cases with serious circumstances and of adverse nature should be promptly announced. Order and fair competition in the drug market should be earnestly safeguarded, maintaining a reasonable price level in the pharmaceutical market in order to protect legitimate rights and interests of the public.