Drugmakers have slashed prices by up to 95% to win state contracts in China’s largest bidding round of its drug procurement program, reported Reuters.
Beijing has implemented a national scheme where global pharmaceutical companies and Chinese generic drugmakers vie to sell their products in bulk at public hospitals. In the latest bidding round for contracts worth hundreds of billions RMB in total, drugmakers cut prices by 53% on average, state media Xinhua reported, citing preliminary results.
Drugs open for bidding covered some products that contributed more than $1 billion each to foreign drugmakers’ sales in 2019 but face challenges from generic versions offered by local drugmakers.
They included AstraZeneca Plc’s heart disease treatment Brilinta, and blood-thinner Eliquis, jointly developed by Pfizer Inc and Bristol Myers Squibb Co. Contracts for the two treatments were won by Chinese companies, according to preliminary results published by procurement authorities. Foreign companies generally quoted higher prices in Thursday’s bidding and barely secured any contracts, said ICBC International Research analyst Zhang Jialin.