China program will lower drug costs

China Daily: New program will lower drug costs.

China is rapidly pulling ahead of my homeland, the US, with their attempts for universal health coverage. Today they announced the final stages of a national drug formulary, which covers about 300 medicines which all public hospitals and clinics are required to provide — with 0% markup, which is a huge break from the past. Hospitals for years have relied heavily on pharmacy markup for profits, but patients suffered the most.

Now (as it should be!), the government is providing a lot more money to hospitals. And this formulary will help provide cheaper medicines for all.

This will have no effect on the expat clinics, but I find the rise of China’s health infrastructure very interesting. I am deeply discouraged with the negative politics in the US right now regarding government sponsored health care. It’s so obvious that there needs to be some level of public intervention, and yet here we go again as we did in 1993 with negative politics threatening universal coverage enactment. And I find it embarrassing and shameful that the most prosperous country in the world is now falling behind developing countries regarding universal coverage.

Hm, maybe democracy isn’t a good idea! Perhaps this one party system, if appropriately enlightened, can be much more effective. Just a thought…


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