In late August, the Chinese government said they would reduce the penalties for the sale and import of unapproved drugs, thereby improving access to cheaper generic pharmaceuticals from other countries. This action was taken to allow greater affordable drugs for chronic diseases increasingly impacting the Chinese population.
The reduction in penalties is set to take effect on December 1st. Current penalties for people selling drugs that are not approved by the National Medical Products Administration could result in a fine and criminal prosecution with jail sentences up to 3 years.
For example, under the new law, cheaper generic drugs made outside of China could be imported and sold in China. One drug cited in the article was the Indian version of the lung-cancer drug Iressa cost $10 a day in 2016, compared with $100 a day for the patented drug in China. He said generic drugs cost, on average, 97 percent less than patented drugs sold in China.
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