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Zero percent import tariffs on common and cancer drugs in China

2018-04-12 2 minute read China

Premier Li Keqiang visits medical research facility in Shanghai, China

Import tariffs to be reduced to 0% on all common drugs and cancer drugs from May 1st. On Thursday, China unveiled further reformations of China’s vast pharmaceutical market, with imports to be further accelerated through cross-border e-Commerce.

On the 12th April, 2018, Premier Li Keqiang announced dramatic reformations of China’s pharmaceutical market that will see medicinal drugs become more available and affordable. Presiding over the executive meeting of the State Council, the Premier revealed that from May 1, 2018, import duties on all common drugs will be reduced to 0%, and the VAT burden on anti-cancer drug production and distribution links will be reduced.

Cross-border e-commerce channels will be used to minimise unreasonable price increases, and boost the circulation of medicines. The State Council further unveiled plans to accelerate the import process of innovative drugs, to support high-speed broadband networks covering urban and rural medical institutions, and to protect intellectual property rights and pharmaceutical patents.

Reducing the tariff of anti-cancer drugs to zero reduces import costs. Subsequently, medical institutions will increase usage of imported drugs, and operating costs of the drug companies will be reduced.

This will open up opportunities for international and UK pharmaceutical companies wanting to explore all that China has to offer. And it will allow medical institutions to reinvest cost savings, thereby furthering advanced treatment and healthcare services for patients all across China.

It’s an incredibly promising development, and we at ACOLINK think that this is only the starting-point of China’s long-term commitment to R&D within a very global context. It’ll open doors for companies looking to export, but it also highlights China’s desire for and encouragement of more R&D.

Source: Official announcement by The State Council of the P. R. of China