Chinese gov't outlines changes to import tariff, clinical trial applications, IP protection


The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced several developments​ during an executive meeting of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China last month.

Of the highlighted developments, plans include those “to enhance quality supervision,​” establish “intensified on-site inspection of foreign drugs’ production,” ​and double down on counterfeit drugs, according to the release from the State Council.

Reduced tax burden

The government also committed to reducing the import tariff to zero for all “common drugs,”​ including anticancer drugs, alkaloids with anticancer effects, and imported patented Chinese medicines. Additionally, it will “greatly reduce”​ the tax burden of value-added tax (VAT) as it relates to the production and import of anti-cancer drugs.

“Overall these changes are very positive and are in contrast to the tariff bans in other areas that are affecting the USA and China,”​ said Philip Gregory, managing director, China, of George Clinical, a clinical research organization (CRO) based in Asia-Pacific.

Reducing the import tariff for common drugs to zero should also reduce import costs for drugs manufactured overseas and make import of those agents easier into China, he told us. The changes could allow manufacturers to reduce the prices of such drugs in the China market, in some circumstances.

Clinical trial applications

Clinical trial applications should also “be deemed automatically approved over a certain period of time”​ in a move “to accelerate the pace of new drugs entering the market,”​ according to the State Council.



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