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Price drop coming for 30 medical devices

China Daily | Updated: 2023-12-01 09:33
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The fourth round of China's centralized bulk medical procurement has resulted in a 70-percent drop in the average price of 30 types of medical devices, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration on Thursday.

The products cover intraocular lens and sports medicine consumables for the treatment of cataract patients and patients who need sports medicine surgery due to labor or sports muscle or ligament damage.

"The aging population has led to an increasing demand for intraocular lenses," said Jiang Changsong, an assistant to the dean of the National Healthcare Institute of the Capital Medical University in Beijing.

"Cases of damaged joints, pulled muscle and strained ligament are surging in the national fitness boom."

Gao Xue, deputy director at a national office that administers the bulk-buying program for high-value medical products, said that it has also achieved full coverage of intraocular lens products and can now better regulate prices.

"While some people doubt whether reducing prices will prevent companies from investing more in research and development, the reality is that price competition only drives down the prices of products that everyone can manufacture," Gao said.

"The competitiveness of high-tech or innovative products is a strong impetus to motivate enterprises to set up research and development, improve the quality of their products and enhance the irreplaceability of their core technology."

Noticing that there was only small difference in the bidding prices of similar products in general, Gu Hai, director of the Center for Public Health Management and Medical Security Policy at Nanjing University, attributed it to the smooth running of the bulk-buying program.

"Upholding its principle of stabilizing prices, centralized procurement makes only a slight difference to the market while maintaining the existing distribution pattern," Gu said.

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