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Why are anti-cancer drugs still expensive in tax reduction? How to buy cheap anti-cancer drugs

Our country plans to carry out the special centralized purchase of anticancer drugs by taking the province as the unit, aiming to realize the obvious decrease of the terminal sales price of anticancer drugs on the basis of the national anti-cancer drug tax reduction through the centralized purchase with quantity and the optimization of the clinical drug structure. (economic reference, July 12)

In recent years, China has continued to promote reform and taken effective measures to solve the problem of expensive medical treatment. For example, we should promote the streamlining of administration and decentralization, further accelerate the approval process of imported new drugs, and implement the "two vote system" to make the drug circulation more open and transparent, and effectively reduce the cost of drug circulation. Since May 1 this year, China has implemented zero tariff on imported anti-cancer drugs and reduced the value-added tax by 3%. It can be said that under the promotion of many new policies, the cost of treatment for ordinary people in China is decreasing year by year.

However, due to monopoly operation, asymmetric market information, weak bargaining power of ordinary people, and few alternative products, China has implemented zero tariff on imported anti-cancer drugs, but the price of imported anti-cancer drugs has not decreased significantly, and the national policy dividend for the benefit of the people has not fully benefited ordinary people.

To this end, at the executive meeting of the State Council held on June 20 this year, Premier Li Keqiang asked that "we must take multiple measures to open up the middle link, urge and promote the price reduction of anti-cancer drugs, so that the masses have a real sense of access.". The meeting proposed solutions: first, provinces (districts and cities) should carry out special bidding procurement for anticancer drugs in the medical insurance catalog; second, they should speed up the negotiation on access to medical insurance for exclusive anticancer drugs out of the medical insurance catalog; third, they should carry out national drug centralized procurement pilot to achieve a significant reduction in drug prices; Fourth, we should strengthen the monitoring and early warning of the supply guarantee of short drugs nationwide, establish a system for recording the production suspension of short drugs and APIs, increase the strength of reserves, and ensure the continuous supply of drugs for patients.

Now, the relevant departments hold a symposium on drug centralized procurement to study the next step of provincial-level special procurement of anticancer drugs in the medical insurance catalog, which shows us the positive action of promoting the further decline of the price of anticancer drugs at the national level. In addition, the State Drug Administration has officially issued the technical guidelines for accepting overseas clinical trial data of drugs on July 10, which makes clear the scope of application, basic principles, integrity requirements, technical requirements for data submission and acceptance degree of accepting overseas clinical trial data of drugs. This will play a positive role in introducing more foreign anti-cancer drugs, preventing the monopoly operation of anti-cancer drugs, and implementing market-oriented price reduction.

Of course, to reduce the price of imported anticancer drugs through the implementation of special centralized purchase of major disease drugs focusing on anticancer drugs is only one aspect to solve the problem. It is also an important measure to establish and improve the anticancer drug medical insurance system and to include more anticancer drugs in the scope of medical insurance reimbursement catalog. At the same time, it is particularly important to encourage domestic pharmaceutical companies to carry out innovative research and development, especially to develop new anti-cancer drugs together with foreign pharmaceutical companies, and form a diversified supply channel, so as to solve the problem of high price of anti-cancer drugs in China. In this respect, we have market advantages. According to the data, China is the world's second largest pharmaceutical market after the United States in terms of sales, and also a key growth market for cancer treatment drugs. According to the report "global cancer trend 2017" released by IMS, the global expenditure on cancer treatment products and maintenance therapy accounted for 10.3% of the global drug sales in 2016, with an average annual growth of nearly 9% in five years. At the same time, the relevant data released by the prospective industry research institute shows that at present, the sales scale of anti-tumor drugs in China has maintained an average annual growth rate of about 20%, which is about 141 billion yuan in 2017. It is expected that there will be an obvious "price for volume" effect in the future, while the growth rate will remain between 15% and 17%.

Therefore, we need to base ourselves on the reality of strong domestic demand and large market scale, give full play to the market's leading role, accelerate drug research and development and institutional innovation, and promote structural reform on the supply side of anti-cancer drugs, so as to effectively reduce various costs and meet the drug demand of the masses to a greater extent.