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Premier says drug costs for chronic diseases to be reimbursable

By Wang Xiaodong | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-03-15 13:35
Premier Li Keqiang answers questions of reporters at a news conference for the second session of the 13th National People's Congress in Beijing on March 15, 2019. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/chinadaily.com.cn]

Outpatient drugs for chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, will be reimbursable by 50 percent through China's basic medical insurance program this year, Premier Li Keqiang said at a news conference on Friday.

The measure will relieve financial burdens on patients with the two diseases, which number 400 million in China, he said.

The government will also take steps this year to further relieve medical expenditure by patients with serious diseases through adjusting medical insurance policies, Li said.

The government has been making efforts to improve people's access to quality medical services and reduce their medical expenditure, Li said.

Last year the prices of 17 anti-cancer drugs were cut by more than 50 percent on average, and were included in the basic medical insurance program so they were reimbursable, he said.

China's basic medical insurance program has covered almost the entire population in China, he said.

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