Financing Innovative Medicines in Mainland China: The Role of Commercial Health Insurance


The National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) is a key component of the current government-led insurance policy to provide access to basic medicines in mainland China; yet NRDL coverage is limited due to public budgetary constraints and new, innovative medicines are often excluded. This paper explores the potential role of commercial health insurance as an optional approach to financing medicines excluded by the NRDL. The current status of commercial health insurance (CHI) in Mainland China is reviewed and we discuss proposed changes that may be needed to develop an effective and sustainable commercial insurance program to provide the Chinese population with better access to innovative medicines not covered by NRDL.

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Li, H. , Liu, G. and Glaetzer, C. (2013) Financing Innovative Medicines in Mainland China: The Role of Commercial Health Insurance. Chinese Studies, 2, 128-133. doi: 10.4236/chnstd.2013.23020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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