China steps up decentralized drug industry regulation, market prices push

China authorities at the highest level are acting on legislation that would, among other things, decentralize drug industry regulation and free some price controls.

The State Council, China's cabinet, is meeting this week to consider bills and amendments intended to give some regulatory relief to several industries, including pharmaceutical.

Instead of dealing with one centralized regulatory agency, drugmakers would be required to get their certificates to operate at the provincial level, according to Xinhua, the state-owned news agency, which did not elaborate.

Other legislative amendments would determine the prices that can be charged for drugs and some other products based on the market as well as the central government. The amendments suggest the changes would allow "competitive prices" for drugs.

One State Council official said, "Price administrative departments of the State Council will make supervising regulations, increasing supervision over prices, and deal with violators."

- here's the story from Xinhua