The Reform of the Essential Medicines System in China: A Comprehensive Approach to Universal Coverage
(2013; 9 pages)


To achieve universal health care coverage, the Government of China invested in large– scale health care reform. One of the major reform components focuses on improving access to essential medicines to reduce high out–of–pocket medicines spending. The reform policies were comprehensive, and included systematic selection of essential medicines to improve availability, centralized procurement and tendering at provincial levels, pricing policies, provision of essential medicines at cost in primary level facilities, and stronger quality and safety standards. While challenges remain, China's system sets an example of a comprehensive approach that other countries could emulate in reforming their health care systems and achieving universal coverage.

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