China’s Long-Awaited Reimbursement Mechanism for Pharma Products

  • China’s governing bodies and reimbursement mechanisms and policies
  • Parameters used for reimbursement pricing
  • The 15% rule and how China’s reimbursement process differs from other countries’
  • Recent price cuts for products that made it to the NRDL
  • PD-1 inhibitors that made it to the NRDL

Key Takeaways

  • The NRDL has been updated annually since 2017
  • There are no separate Provincial Reimbursed Drug Lists (PRDLs); the provinces have been given until 2022 to consolidate their lists
  • Time to reimbursement from product launch decreased significantly to 1.3 years in 2020 from 4.7 years in 2017
  • Manufacturers are not allowed to apply for listing their products on the NRDL; the list of potential drugs is selected by an expert committee
  • The National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA) very likely benchmarks the pricing to the lowest price of international reference pricing from a basket of 12 recommended countries
  • Negotiations will be conducted only for those products whose manufacturer’s offer price falls within 15% of the target price set by the expert committee
  • The average discount since 2017 has been a little over 50% for products included in the NRDL; this puts significant pressure on manufacturers



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Acuity Knowledge Partners

Acuity Knowledge Partners


We write about financial industry trends, the impact of regulatory changes and opinions on industry inflection points.