China expands access to national insurance-covered drugs
China has expanded the channels for patients to buy medicine under the country's medical insurance programs, a health care security official said Monday.
For medicines covered under the health care security system's price negotiation program, patients can purchase their medicines either at hospitals or in qualified drug stores, and both channels enjoy the same reimbursement terms, said Huang Huabo, an official with the National Health care Security Administration (NHSA), at a press conference.
Huang said such measures are intended to ensure the supplies of relevant drugs and meet patients' needs.
Medicines that have a high clinical value, high cost, low substitutability and are in urgent demand should be made available at hospitals and qualified drug stores on the same reimbursement terms, said the administration, adding that the specific list should be determined by provincial health care security departments.
The NHSA has selected 19 drugs that were added to the price negotiation program in 2020 and released the information of designated hospitals and drugs stores where these drugs could be purchased.
The administration has also pledged further efforts to include these drugs in the direct settlement of trans-provincial medical expenses, and to improve relevant policies and regulations to crack down on medical insurance fraud in the process.
The NHSA and the National Health Commission recently issued a joint circular on the move to include relevant drug stores into the health care security system's supply chain and insurance payment system.