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Cancer treatment, blockchain, toxic pesticides among key issues raised

Xu Wei
Updated: Aug 14,2018 6:44 AM     China Daily

A number of ministries including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and the National Medical Security Administration, have responded in the last week to issues of public concern.

Cancer drug prices fall

The procurement prices of 14 cancer-treatment drugs have been lowered as part of efforts to reduce the economic burden on patients, the National Medical Security Administration said on Aug 11.

The administration said that patients will be able to buy these drugs more cheaply starting from September, and it has required provincial-level drug procurement platforms to follow the new standard by the end of September.

The decision was based on a recent circular on the adjustment of medical insurance reimbursement and procurement prices of these types of drugs.

The administration will expand its guidance to make sure the new prices are implemented, in order to allow the public to enjoy the benefits as soon as possible, the administration said.

Negotiations have been underway between the administration and pharmaceutical companies to add more affordable cancer-tackling drugs to the medical insurance reimbursement list.

A range of drugs have been selected, with the administration confirming the producers’ willingness to further negotiate. The drugs are all crucial in dealing with hematological neoplasms and tumors, the administration said.

Blockchain development

China will work to create a better environment to facilitate the healthy development of the blockchain industry, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Aug 9.

The ministry said that the blockachain technology is now witnessing growing applications in areas including finance, credit reporting, smart manufacturing, and supply-chain management.

It will work to enhance synergy and coordination with different areas and departments to promote the healthy development of the blockchain.

Efforts to promote the innovative applications of the technology will be intensified, with a focus on enhancing computing power and storage capacity, the ministry said.

A previous report by the ministry showed that by the end of March 2018, there were 456 blockchain technology companies in China.

While the technology has brought benefits, it could also bring risks such as technical loopholes, and challenges to current systems and norms as the technology is still in an early period of development, the ministry added.

Toxic pesticides are targeted

China will phase out the use of highly toxic pesticides in the next five years, an agricultural official said on Aug 8.

Ji Ying, an official with the Institute for the Control of Agrochemicals under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said there are still 10 types of highly toxic pesticides that are being used in China.

The ministry will adopt more stringent control measures for such pesticides, and is now mulling bans on three of the pesticides.

Plans to ban the use another four pesticides are being drawn up, the official said.

Meanwhile, a review of pesticide products that have been registered for 15 years, 478 in total, is being prioritized, she said.

Banks told to boost funding

The China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission said on Aug 11 that it has urged banks and insurance companies to increase funding to meet the financing demand of the real economy.

The commission said in a statement that it urged financial institutions to take advantage of the favorable conditions, such as abundant liquidity and declining financing costs, to better help the real economy.

Banks have been told to ensure financing demand of projects under construction and raise funding support for weak areas in the country’s infrastructure, the statement said.

Preliminary data showed that newly made yuan loans in July stood at 1.45 trillion yuan ($212 billion), up by 623.7 billion yuan year-on-year, the commission said.