Skip to Main Navigation

Financing, pricing, and utilization of pharmaceuticals in China : the road to reform policy (Vol. 2) : Main report (English)

This paper examines the financing, pricing, and utilization of pharmaceuticals in China the pharmaceutical system as it has evolved, and some changes that would improve it in the context of the national health reform process. The present paper builds upon earlier critical reviews and other papers published in the series china health policy notes. The paper is divided into four parts. The first section provides an overview of the Chinese pharmaceutical market: how the sector has grown; China's position in the global market; and size, composition, and trends in the domestic market. The second section examines the evolution and status of China's system of essential medicines, an area emphasized in the government's health reform plan announced in April 2009. It shows how the use of essential medicines has evolved over the two decades since the idea was formally adopted, and discusses why practice has fallen far short of the ideal. The third section looks at the issue that dominates today's debate: managing high pharmaceutical costs. It reviews the components of drug pricing, underscoring the argument that there is considerable scope for reducing prices. It looks at government attempts to control drug prices, and suggests why they did not succeed. Finally, the fourth section suggests measures to re-chart the path to reform.


  • Author

    Hu, Shanlian

  • Document Date


  • Document Type

    Working Paper (Numbered Series)

  • Report Number


  • Volume No


  • Total Volume(s)


  • Country


  • Region

    East Asia and Pacific,

  • Disclosure Date


  • Disclosure Status


  • Doc Name

    Main report

  • Keywords

    essential medicines;broad range of stakeholders;health expenditure per capita;revenue from user charges;Fee for Medical Services;cost of pharmaceuticals;pharmaceutical market;health reform processes;community health center;generic drug;pharmaceutical cost containment;quality health care;intellectual property protection;public health system;international good practice;public health service;availability of drug;health care financing;distribution of drug;health sector regulation;social health insurance;fundamental structural changes;private health insurance;pharmaceutical supply chain;health insurance system;access to pharmaceuticals;social welfare program;good manufacturing practices;point of use;brand name drugs;interest on deposit;fee for service;sale of asset;Continuing Medical Education;production of pharmaceuticals;loss of revenue;direct revenue loss;preventive health care;cost of drug;demand for good;drug list;Medical Insurance;pharmaceutical expenditure;drug price;Essential Drugs;pharmaceutical reform;Drug use;price reduction;social security;retail price;Medical technologies;reference price;public hospital;import product;medical technology;Pharmaceutical Industry;traditional medicine;bulk purchasing;health institution;domestic manufacturer;price control;global market;clinical guidelines;health facility;price cap;community pharmacy;hospital providers;minimum wage;price setting;irrational use;hospital pharmacies;domestic expenditure;rural health;pharmaceutical sector;gross value;national health;chronic condition;global budget;government authority;innovative drugs;international norm;healthcare costs;government subsidy;healthcare system;financial subsidy;urban community;budgetary support;price ratio;generic medicine;advance pricing;clinical pathways;benefit package;registration process;medical device;active ingredient;intravenous injection;specific incentives;price regulation;transaction cost;compensation mechanism;patient consultations;drug quality;Direct Subsidies;clinical trial;drug purchases;reimbursement rates;financial incentive;domestic product;rapid acceleration;imported drugs;complementary measure;sales growth;diabetes mellitus;clinical use;insurance package;public hearing;reducing prices;medical provider;demographic structure;health characteristics;average cost;net surplus;mature system;train service;public subsidy;scientific evidence;wholesale price;physical distribution;public bidding;alternative system;clinical norms;direct subsidy;Medical specialties;communist party;fixed percentage;general awareness;health post;pharmaceutical prices;basic requirement;biological product;medical cost;social consequence;tertiary hospitals;primary care;reimbursement system;daily doses;social policies;social policy;baseline study;financial viability;price methodology;demonstration site;formal sector;medical community;basic benefit;chronic disease;payment system;capitation system;hospital revenues;vat rate;planned economy;health specialist;international expert;fixed budget;healthcare reform;pharmaceutical law;occasional papers;management companies;competitive bidding;component systems;political agenda;medical security;healthcare insurance;universal coverage;insurance program;increasing share;drug prescribing;affordable drug;drug procurement;expenditure account;pharmacoeconomic evaluation;drug packaging;sectoral process;exchange rate;ambulatory service;clinical practice;financial efficiency;regulatory body;security system;Regulatory Bodies;Exchange Rates;copyright protection;national system;exclusive use;public input;national policy;pricing policy;global scale;pharmaceutical manufacturers;multinational corporation;trade surplus;foreign market;public debate;household expenditure;pharmaceutical distribution;global growth;distribution market;operational deficit;replacement cost;investment income;wholesale purchase;patient fee;personnel cost;



Official version of document (may contain signatures, etc)

  • Official PDF
  • TXT*
  • Total Downloads** :
  • Download Stats
  • *The text version is uncorrected OCR text and is included solely to benefit users with slow connectivity.


Hu, Shanlian

Financing, pricing, and utilization of pharmaceuticals in China : the road to reform policy (Vol. 2) : Main report (English). China health policy notes ; no. 1 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.