Beijing pledged to extend drug-price cuts to make medical care more affordable and widen coverage of state-paid health insurance for an aging population, Bloomberg reported. The government plans to expand use of a tendering system tested in Anhui province. Sun Zhigang, the top official overseeing the changes, said that a new procurement method has led to price reductions of at least 30% on medicines on the essential drugs list last year. Nomura analysts staid that China will continue to expand these current policies, which they predict will have long-term benefits for drugmakers through volume growth. However, various healthcare executives and organizations have seen profits shrink over the past year. Guo Guangchang, chairman of Fosun International (656.HKG), which controls Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (600196.SH) and the Research and Development-Based Pharmaceutical Association Committee, protested that expansion of price cuts that will exacerbate shrinking profit margins in China.