2022 NRDL Pricing Implementation and Access Outcomes in China

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The pricing and market access (P&MA) landscape in China has been rapidly evolving as the country continuously attempts to balance rewarding innovation and sustainability of healthcare funding. China represents a unique and dynamic market archetype for manufacturers especially in terms of P&MA strategies.

China’s aging population (≥60 years) is estimated to exceed 400 million by 2035 driving a significant rise in government healthcare expenditure and medical insurance subsidies in the future. As such, the Chinese government has acknowledged the important role of multi-national companies to drive innovation as seen in the Healthy China 2030 policy and an increase in the National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) negotiation success rate for international branded drugs.

Since the first NRDL negotiation back in 2017, the NRDL has maintained an important presence in China’s market access pathway, providing broad coverage and significant market uptake opportunities for listed products. In the last 5 years, the NRDL has been updated annually with a notable > 75% reduction in the time taken between reimbursement and regulatory approval for innovative therapies.

With the intention to strive for equitable access across regions and increase single-payer negotiation power, payers in China have removed the provincial autonomy to adjust the reimbursement drug list and consolidated to one unified public reimbursement pathway. Therefore, staying informed on the NRDL changes is more critical than ever. The 2022 NRDL update represented the sixth consecutive year of negotiation, with five key significant updates observed; all updates intended to facilitate an optimized review process.

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