After the “Adjustment Working Scheme of China Health Insurance Drug List in 2019” been published by China National Healthcare Security Administration on 17th April, the new Health Insurance Drug List adjustment in China was officially initiated.
According to the Working Scheme the whole process can be divided into 5 main stages:
- phase 1-preparation period (Jan to Mar, 2019);
- phase 2-reviewing period (Apr to Jul, 2019), including voting of medical insurance drug varieties, determination of alternative list, expert voting, determination of drugs to be added/drugs to be removed/negotiation drug list(drugs with higher price), and confirming negotiation intention with enterprises;
- phase 3- the main new Health Insurance Drug List and extra negotiation drug list will be separately released (Jul 2019);
- phase 4-negotiation with the company whose products are on the negotiation drug list (Aug to Sep, 2019);
- phase 5- add the drugs with successful negotiation into the final list (Sep-Oct, 2019).
It can be indicated from the published “Work Scheme” that this adjustment including adding some drugs into the List and also removing some drugs out of the existing list. Besides, one principle for the drug adding is the drug variety should be approved by China NMPA before 31st Dec, 2018. However, for generic drugs, they can be regarded as qualified also if the corresponding brand drug is approved before this date. During the drug voting, priority will be given to drugs on the National Essential Drug List, drug for cancer and rare diseases treatment, drugs for chronic diseases, drugs for children and first-aid drugs.
The last revision of the Health Insurance Drug List was in 2017, and the former two revisions were early in 2004 and 2009. So the adjustment intervals are sharply shortened this time, which is a good news for innovative drug producers because it brings opportunity to list their products into China Health Insurance Drug List without a long wait.