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China unifies medicine catalog covered by medical insurance

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-04-12 09:09
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BEIJING -- China has unified the catalog of medicines covered by medical insurance across the country to ensure that all medicines in the catalog are placed under a unified management and payment policy.

This measure is driven not only by fairness but also aims to streamline the process of settling medical expenses where they are incurred, said Huang Xinyu, an official of the National Healthcare Security Administration, at a press conference on Thursday.

The official added that since its inception in 2018, the National Healthcare Security Administration has continuously made dynamic adjustments to the catalog of medicines covered by medical insurance, including adding over 700 new medicines to the list.

To date, the catalog has included about 3,900 kinds of medicines, covering both Western medicine and traditional Chinese medicine, accounting for over 90 percent of the total expenditure on medicine purchases in public hospitals, according to Huang.

Huang said the administration is also working to make medicines more affordable through multiple means, including negotiation. During the first two months of this year, medical insurance funds had paid over 15 billion yuan (about $2.11 billion) for 397 kinds of medicines covered by price agreements, benefiting 39.5 million people.

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