China will exempt import tariffs on all cancer drugs and encourage the import of more innovative drugs, according to a statement released after an executive meeting of the State Council presided over by Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday.
From May 1, import tariffs on all common drugs including cancer drugs, cancer alkaloid-based drugs, and imported traditional Chinese medicine will be exempted, the statement read.
Value added tax in the production and import of drugs will drop by a large margin.
The authorities will reduce the prices of cancer drugs through centralized government procurement and eliminate premium prices for drugs by means of cross-border e-commerce. Imported innovative drugs, especially much-needed cancer drugs, will be incorporated into the catalogue of medical insurance reimbursement, the statement said.
The import of innovative drugs will be accelerated and they will come into the market at an earlier date.
Intellectual property rights protection of the drugs will be strengthened, the statement stressed. The data protection period of innovative drugs will be prolonged to six years, within which drugs of the same kind will not go onto the market.