China should include anti-cancer drugs in medical insurance: insider

Ref: Global Times
  • A medical industrial insider has urged China to include cancer drugs in its medical insurance programme to combat high prices, Global Times reported Wednesday.

  • A report earlier this week revealed that a number of multinational drugmakers have been invited to discuss drug prices with the Chinese government.

  • "If anti-cancer drugs are included in medical insurance, then drug firms should agree to lower their prices because demand will rocket up," remarked Li Tianquan, co-founder of the healthcare big data platform yaozh.com.

  • Meanwhile, Neil Wang, president of consultancy Frost & Sullivan China, suggested that drugmakers face an R&D cycle of more than 10 years on average in addition to high failure rates in clinical development.

  • "Even when the drug is successfully developed, input in market promotion and government affairs has also limited anti-cancer drugs' price reduction space," Wang stated, continuing "in a word, anti-cancer drugs' profitability is based on a high-risk, high cost and long-term investment cycle."

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