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China plans to lift price controls on most medicines

Updated: May 5,2015 1:50 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will lift price controls on most medicines starting from June 1, the country’s economic planner said on May 5.

Medicine prices will be decided by the market, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) in an online notice to promote medicine price reforms.

Only narcotics and some listed psychotropic drugs will continue to be controlled by the government, with ceiling retail prices, it said.

The reform will turn the government into a defender of orderly medicine market competition and help keep prices reasonable, said Chang Feng, head of the medicine price research institute of China Medical University.

Public health departments must boost supervision on medical institutions and check improper medicine and medical equipment use, as well as excessive checkups and treatment, the notice said.

China has vowed to further relax price controls. The central government relaxed its grip on low cost medicines, telecom services, tobacco, ports and railways, air transport, natural gas and electricity last year.

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