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A Case Study of Pharmaceutical Pricing in China: Setting the Price for Off-Patent Originators

Shanlian Hu, Yabing Zhang, Jiangjiang He, Lixia Du, Mingfei Xu, Chunyan Xie, Ying Peng, Linan Wang
Applied Health Economics and Health Policy 2015, 13 Suppl 1: S13-20
26091710
This article aims to define a value-based approach to pricing and reimbursement for off-patent originators using a multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) approach centered on a systematic analysis of current pricing and reimbursement policies in China. A drug price policy review was combined with a quantitative analysis of China's drug purchasing database. Policy preferences were identified through a MCDA performed by interviewing well-known academic experts and industry stakeholders. The study findings indicate that the current Chinese price policy includes cost-based pricing and the establishment of maximum retail prices and premiums for off-patent originators, whereas reference pricing may be adopted in the future. The literature review revealed significant differences in the dissolution profiles between originators and generics; therefore, dissolution profiles need to be improved. Market data analysis showed that the overall price ratio of generics and off-patent originators was around 0.54-0.59 in 2002-2011, with a 40% price difference, on average. Ten differentiating value attributes were identified and MCDA was applied to test the impact of three pricing policy scenarios. With the condition of implementing quality consistency regulations and controls, a reduction in the price gap between high-quality off-patent products (including originator and generics) seemed to be the preferred policy. Patents of many drugs will expire within the next 10 years; thus, pricing will be an issue of importance for off-patent originators and generic alternatives.

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