The Chinese government has issued a list of more than 300 commonly used drugs that will be sold at controlled prices from next month as part of reforms aimed at making health care more affordable.
Beijing is pumping 850 billion yuan (£75 billion) into the country’s health-care system over the next three years as part of an ambitious plan to provide basic medical coverage and insurance to all of the country’s 1.3 billion people.
According to a statement released this week by the Health Ministry, the essential medicines list includes both Western and traditional Chinese drugs that will be sold at cost price from late September.
The list includes antibiotics such as amoxicillin and streptomycin, pain relievers such as aspirin and paracetamol as well as medicines for coughs, colds, anxiety, high blood pressure and other common ailments.
The list will be adjusted every three years to meet demand.
It also said that it aims to equip about a third of public grass-roots health facilities with all the essential medicines on the list by the end of the year and reach all state-owned medical institutions by 2020.