China to revise essential pharmaceutical drugs list

Updated: 2012-07-04 06:54


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BEIJING - China will revise its national essential drugs list this year to better meet people's pharmaceutical demands, a health official said on Tuesday.

Vice Health Minister Yin Li told a national meeting that the number of drugs listed was relatively small and its structure was "unreasonable."

The World Health Organization's version of essential drugs list has 358 categories of drugs, whereas China's latest version, updated in 2009, has only 205 categories.

Yin pointed out that the comprehensive evaluation for drug purchase in China lacked unified standards, and vicious competition has led to shortages of some low-priced drugs.

There is also a shortage of pharmaceutical professionals at the grassroots level and the drugs' reimbursement rate is relatively low, he said.

Yin suggested to take into consideration the reform of county-level public hospitals, important public health service projects, treatment of major diseases, among others in the revision of the national essential drugs list.