China hospital official joins call for drug purchasing reform

A top hospital administrator in Beijing said last week that more reforms are needed to "cut the link" between Chinese doctors and pharmaceutical companies that can often drive up costs for patients. Feng Guosheng, chief of Beijing Municipal Administration of Hospitals, said in a China Daily report that the country was looking to beef up reforms focused on drug purchasing by hospitals. Chinese officials recently implemented measures to do away with a 15% surcharge that public hospitals were able to add to the cost of prescription drugs, a move that will lower income and force some hospitals to increase fees charged to patients. The China Daily report, however, said reforms implemented since 2012 at 5 hospitals in Beijing have cut patient costs by 10%. China has a major reform push underway for its healthcare sector and officials at the Ministry of Finance recently said the country would spend $1.5 billion in 2016 to subsidize hospitals for the lost drug markup income. Report