Transforming Heart Care, Improving Access, and Driving Innovation

Main image to the post Transforming Heart Care, Improving Access, and Driving Innovation

China's centralized procurement program has significantly reduced the cost of heart stents, making them more accessible to patients. The program, launched in 2020, has led to an average price cut of 93%, with stents now costing between 700 and 800 yuan each.

Despite the price reduction, concerns have been raised about the quality and availability of the more affordable stents. However, the National Healthcare Security Administration has stated that the majority of patients now opt for stents involved in the bulk buy program, and over 95% of stents used nationwide are such products.

The program has also accelerated the adoption of state-of-the-art products. The ratio of chromium alloy drug-eluting stents, a relatively advanced type, has increased from 60% to 95%. Clinical experts have confirmed the high clinical quality of the stents chosen during the program, which have been shown to reduce the occurrence of postoperative narrowing of arteries.

To address concerns about the impact on physicians' incomes, the administration has stated that doctors from well-known hospitals have reported earning more legitimate income nowadays. Some regions have raised the surgical service price to reward the value of healthcare workers' professional skills. Additionally, local authorities allow medical institutions to retain part of the healthcare funds saved through the bulk buy program, benefiting both hospitals and medical staff.

Regarding concerns about manufacturers' production capacity, the administration has reported that the quantity supplied from 2021 to 2023 was 1.3 times the agreed amount. The number of participating manufacturers has also increased from eight to ten during this period.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09