Zero Tariff On Anticancer Drugs To China, Will MNCs Sing Hymn?
Commonly-prescribed medicines, especially imported anticancer drugs, will potentially see zero tariffs in China, although this may be a symbolic sign rather than a substantive move to improve market access for highly-priced products, some say.
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China is opening up its domestic pharma market with an import duty exemption on 28 drugs including anticancers, effective May. The duty cuts came ahead of the latest trade talks between the US and China, though Chinese officials have underscored that countries like India could also stand to gain.
Cancer cases are rising in China, with larger increases for certain types including thyroid and pancreatic. To combat the rising tide, the government will implement zero tariffs on imported anticancer drugs from May.
Leveraging the internet and big data to improve healthcare, regulatory efficiency and cancer treatment are among the priorities singled out by the Chinese Premier at the annual National People's Congress meeting. Some delegates say drug approval and coverage challenges remain, while industry observers point to commercial insurance as a solution to drive the specialty market such as cancer care.