China will regularly probe the production costs and sales prices of hundreds
of drugs to track unjustified fluctuations in their prices.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued a
notice on Friday saying it will investigate the marketing last year of 1,500
drugs on the commission's price directory.
The notice said price regulatory departments of provincial governments should
report drug prices, drug producers and importers must report their costs while
drug wholesalers and retailers also must report their sales prices.
In its latest effort to provide affordable drugs, China lowered prices on 182
modern, or Western-style medicines earlier this month.
The price cuts, involving more than 1,200 specific products, take effective
on May 15. The cuts are expected to save consumers about five billion yuan (649
million US dollars), said the NDRC.
"The drug market is actually very chaotic and many medicines have had their
names changed to avoid price cuts," NDRC Minister Ma Kai said.
Prices of about 1,500 medicines are set by the central government, while the
prices of more than 800 other drugs are determined by local governments.
Since the start of 2006, the central government has lowered prices of more
than 900 drugs.
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