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罕见病药减税(hǎnjiànbìngyào jiǎnshuì): VAT cut on medicines for rare diseases

China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-13 07:23

[Photo / VCG]

Premier Li Keqiang presided over an executive meeting of the State Council, China's Cabinet, on Monday at which it was decided to provide a preferential value added tax rate for medicines to treat rare diseases. In all, 21 foreign and domestic medicines and four active pharmaceutical ingredients will receive a preferential value added tax rate of 3 percent.

Rare diseases refer to those with an extremely low incidence rate. According to the World Health Organization, the number of people with rare diseases account for 0.65 percent to 1 percent of the overall population. At present there are more than 6,000 rare diseases globally. And, according to statistics, China has about 20 million people suffering from rare diseases.

With limited patients and the difficulties they face in the research and development of treatments, the enthusiasm of pharmaceutical companies for developing medicines for these diseases is not very high, and the prices of medicines for rare diseases are therefore always high.

The implementation of the preferential rate of tax is intended to reduce the cost of treatment for patients.

The tax cuts for medicines are expected to continue and be expanded to cover more medicines and medical devices, which will further reduce the economic burden on patients and their families

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