Drug sector policies fine-tuned
China will further refine its essential drug sector with more efforts to fine-tune its policies regarding selection, production, circulation and usage of essential drugs, according to a guideline released on Sept 19.
The guideline, released by the State Council General Office, said more efforts will be made to ensure a safe and effective supply of drugs so that drug prices can be more reasonable and the supply more adequate.
The reform is also expected to provide more affordable healthcare to the public and spur the transformation and upgrading of the pharmaceutical sector.
According to the World Health Organization, essential drugs refer to those medicines that meet the basic medical needs of, and are fairly accessible to the people, as well as inexpensive and safe to use.
The catalogue of drugs in the essential drug sector will be adjusted dynamically so that clinical demands for common and chronic diseases and emergency treatment can be effectively met, the guideline said. The needs for special groups, such as children, as well as public health demands will also be prioritized.
The guideline also said that a national-level monitoring and early warning system for drug shortages will be established in order to identify risks as early as possible, and provide due solutions to different problems.
The proportion of essential drugs used in public medical institutions should be stipulated by provinces, increasing the use of essential drugs in medical institutions, the guideline added.
Medical institutions should set scientific standards for the use of essential drugs in clinical departments and incorporate them into assessment, and the use of essential drugs should be linked with subsidies related to the essential drug system, it said.
Local governments are encouraged to prioritize essential drugs for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and severe mental disorders, while ensuring efficacy, and minimizing drug costs for patients.
Red tape cut amid streamlining
The State Council urged greater efforts to streamline administration, reduce taxes and cut corporate fees at an executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang on Sept 19.
According to a statement released after the meeting, measures already taken to cut red tape and reduce corporate burdens should be implemented in full, and more supervision should be conducted to prevent actions that are delayed or falling short of expectations.
The social insurance policy shall remain stable during the process of institutional reform, and related government departments should conduct oversights to prevent arbitrary measures to seek final settlements with enterprises over historical arrears in their social insurance.
Violations should be corrected firmly, and legal and disciplinary violations should be held to account, the statement said.
Meanwhile, the government will step up efforts to carry out new schemes to reduce the rate for social insurance, which will be in parallel with the reform of the social insurance collection scheme, it added.
Investments to be stabilized
China will make efforts to stabilize the growth of investments amid waning growth in fixed asset investments since the beginning of this year.
According to a statement released after a State Council executive meeting on Sept 19, stabilizing the growth of investment is an important measure to ensure normal growth, deepen supply-side structural reform and promote employment.
Related measures will focus on national plans and major strategies, and priorities will be placed on infrastructure, transport networks and water resources projects in impoverished areas.
Construction of key projects for ecological and environmental protection, technological innovation and elderly nursing will also be accelerated.
Financial institutions will be guided to support the development of projects that improve weak links, and local authorities are required to deploy the special bonds already raised to such projects at an early date, the statement said.
The partnership programs between government and social capital will be pushed forward in an orderly manner, and private capital will be encouraged to take part in such programs, it said.