China to check drug production and sale

Updated: 2007-05-26 14:46

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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