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Study shows generic drugs match name-brand counterparts

By Wang Xiaoyu | | Updated: 2021-06-10 19:35
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A recent study led by the National Healthcare Security Administration shows 14 generic drugs included in the national drug bulk-buy program are as safe and effective as their name-brand counterparts, the administration said on Wednesday.

The administration has conducted four rounds of price negotiations with drug manufacturers and centralized procurement campaigns since 2018, part of an initiative aimed at cutting drug prices and alleviating the medical burdens of the public.

Since then, 533 drugs have been selected and their prices fell by an average of 53 percent, according to the administration. All of them are generic drugs that have gained approval from domestic drug regulators.

To further evaluate their efficacy and safety, the administration has gathered 20 major hospitals in Beijing to conduct a study on 14 generic drugs selected during the first round of the program.

All 14 products included in the two-year study are used extensively for clinical treatment, including drugs for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic hepatitis, neurological and psychiatric disorders, as well as some injection drugs.

The study results show there is no difference in terms of key efficacy and safety markers between generic drugs and name-brand drugs.

Chang Feng, a professor at China Pharmaceutical University, said the study has provided strong evidence for the efficacy of generic drugs, and will help further promote production of high-quality generic drugs to lower medical costs for patients.

The administration said the study has also helped set up a basic evaluation model for drugs listed in its central procurement programs, and it will further improve the appraisal system in the future.

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