China will reduce prices for nearly half of its essential drugs by 12 percent on average on October 22, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) Friday.
Prices for about 45 percent of the essential medicines will go down by 12 percent on average.
Prices for about 49 percent of the essential medicines will remain unchanged. Prices for about six percent of the medicines in shortage will be raised.
The move aimed to reduce the overall prices of essential drugs to relieve people's burden and to encourage enterprises to provide quality medicines, said an official with the NDRC.
Producers or retailers could set essential medicines prices based on market demand, but they should be no higher than the reference retail prices, said the official who declined to be named.
The price reform this time will involve 296 kinds or 2,349 specific medicines and influence about 3,000 medicine producers.