- In a move that signals support for a more market-based approach to pharmaceutical drug prices, China's economic planner—the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)—is seriously considering lifting drug-price caps.
- Currently, the NDRC imposes price controls through price caps and state-run tenders.
- Although many price caps will likely be lifted, including ceilings on branded drugs, certain products (such as anesthesia drugs) will remain capped because they are very tightly regulated in China.
January 1, 2015, may be the first day of a new era when it comes to the prices of various medications in China. Though the NDRC has announced that it is considering lifting price caps, they have yet to sketch out how, exactly, the pricing process will work.
However, it is clear that "multiple parties" will be involved in the negotiations—which is also the approach used in market-based societies, including the U.S.