Centralized drug procurement program cuts medical costs for people with diabetes

China’s latest centralized drug procurement work has preliminarily selected 42 insulin products, resulting in an average price cut of 48 percent, according to the National Healthcare Security Administration.

The products, from 11 domestic and foreign-invested companies, cover 16 varieties of second and third-generation insulin commonly used in clinical treatment.

The first batch of approximately 210 million doses of insulin ordered by medical institutions across the country will be purchased under the program, saving an estimated 9 billion yuan (about 1.4 billion U.S. dollars) in costs.

It is the first time the national centralized drug procurement program has included biopharmaceuticals, marking a milestone in the reform of the program, the administration said.

The centralized procurement of insulin will bring tangible benefits to diabetes patients by lowering medicine prices, as they require the long-term use of insulin to control their blood sugar, it added.