Pharmacy in China

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Unaffordable medications are a hole in the Chinese safety net. This forces workers to save as much as possible in order to weather family medical emergencies, which acts to depress domestic consumption, leaving no alternative to the traditional unsustainable export and investment driven economic model.[1]

Drug policy[edit]

China has implemented a National Essential Drug Policy.[2]

Pharmacy schools and programs[edit]

There are three universities in mainland China specializing in the pharmaceutical sciences and pharmaceutical industry:

Counterfeit drugs[edit]

Figures in China report almost 200,000 persons are said to have died in 2001 as a consequence of having taken counterfeit drugs.[3]

There are major difficulties for patients accessing expensive pharmaceuticals which encourage smuggling and even home manufacture. The state healthcare system does not cover many drugs, and for those that are covered there is a 30% copayment. The approval process is slow and bureaucratic. Only 100 new drugs were approved between 2001 and 2016 by the China Food and Drug Administration. Once approved, drugs have to be included in the National Reimbursement Drug List to qualify for coverage. Prices are much higher than in other Asian countries. [4]

Online and mail-order pharmacies[edit]

Online pharmacies were first established in China in 2005. By the end of 2008, only 10 online pharmacies had obtained permission to sell over-the-counter drugs,[5] a figure that had increased to 639 by January, 2017.[6] Online sales increased in line with the number of pharmacies. The China Food and Drug Administration conducted a pilot reform to admit three businesses using their third-party platform to retail drugs online to consumers from 2013 until August 2016, accounting for to some extent difficulty in its regulation.[7]


  • The Museum of Huqingyutang Chinese Pharmacy

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "China drug costs: The human price". BBC News.
  2. ^ Xiao, Y; et al. (2011). "Implementation Of National Essential Drug Policy: Analysis From A Complex Adaptive Systems Perspective / 复杂适应系统理论视角下国家基本药物制度的实施分析". Chinese General Practice. 14 (5A): 1419–1421. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
  3. ^ GPHF NEWS II / 2003
  4. ^ "In China, Desperate Patients Smuggle Drugs. Or Make Their Own". New York Times. 11 November 2018. Retrieved 22 December 2018.
  5. ^ "国家药监局:全国只有10家网上药店合法".
  6. ^ "国家食品药品监督管理局:企业查询 (in Chinese)".
  7. ^ "互联网第三方平台售药试点结束 后续经营需获资格证书 (in Chinese)".

Further reading[edit]


External links[edit]

Chinese pharmaceutical policy
International conferences
Comparative study