The Joint Procurement Office (JPO) has issued a notice to collect drug information related to the seventh batch of volume-based procurement (VBP), officially kicking off the next round of China’s national bulk buying of drugs.
- There are 58 drug varieties on the JPO’s list, of which half are injectables, and the drugs up for grabs cover 208 product specifications (full list can be found in article); affecting 198 manufacturers, round seven is expected to see fierce competition, especially when it comes to omeprazole and tenofovir alafenamide.
- Since VBP was first trialed in 11 Chinese cities (the 4+7 tender trial) in 2018, China’s national VBP has covered 256 drugs; last round, China bought insulins in bulk for the first time, having selected 42 insulin products from 11 companies at an average price cut of 48%.
BEIJING, China – The Joint Procurement Office (JPO) has issued a notice to collect drug information related to the seventh batch of volume-based procurement (VBP), officially kicking off the next round of China’s national bulk buying of drugs.
Provincial hospitals and medical institutions were tasked with gathering data on drug usage and submitting the data to the JPO for review. To be eligible for inclusion in round seven, products must be authorized for marketing in China and listed on the China Marketed Drug Formulary and be either an originator drug or a generic passing quality and clinical evaluation (GCQE).
There are 58 drug varieties on the JPO’s list, of which half are injectables, and the drugs up for grabs cover 208 product specifications. This time, tendering rules will allow for one originator and three generic winners, or four generic winners when no originator is available to compete.
A total of 198 manufacturers have products on the list, including 29 foreign companies and 169 domestic companies. While multiple foreign companies, including Pfizer, Roche, and Novartis, have products on the list (five, four, and four, respectively), China’s domestic companies cover many more varieties — for example, Qilu, which has successfully won many bids in previous rounds, has 16 products listed in batch seven, followed by Kelun Pharma, Shijiazhuang Pharma, and Chia Tai Pharma, each with 13 products.
According to the China Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Development Association (PhIRDA), “There are more than 10 competing companies in six varieties, of which there are 25 companies that have passed the evaluation of omeprazole, and there are nine competing companies for three varieties.”
Fierce competition is also expected for tenofovir alafenamide – branded as Vemlidy – because Gilead’s patent for the antiviral expired last July; currently, 12 companies have had their Vemlidy generics cleared in China, while another 10 are awaiting a green light from Chinese regulators.
Since VBP was first trialed in 11 Chinese cities (the 4+7 tender trial) in 2018, China’s national VBP has covered 256 drugs at price cuts, on average, of 53%. in the last round, China bought insulins in bulk for the first time, having selected 42 insulin products from 11 companies at an average price cut of 48%. By the end of the year, upward of 350 products are expected to be procured at both the national and provincial levels.
At a recent State Council VBP Q&A session, the government revealed that every province will cover more than 100 varieties in their own, province-led VBPs this year; definitely, orthopedic spinal consumables will be included. And governmental efforts focused on the VBP will aim to institutionalize and reform the practice and make sure the supply encounters no disruptions — essentially, strengthening the procedure, with greater monitoring from the National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA).
The following products, in varying formulations (injection, tablet, etc.), are listed for the seventh VBP:
- Tenofovir alafenamide
- Calcium acetate
- Isosorbide mononitrate
- Flupentixol and melitracen
- Lenvatinib mesylate
- Caffeine citrate
- Clindamycin phosphate
- Rocuronium bromide
- Mycophenolate mofetil
- Ibandronic acid
- Zoledronic acid
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