Review of ongoing initiatives to improve prescribing efficiency in China; angiotensin receptor blockers as a case history

Wenjie Zeng, Lars L Gustafsson, Marion Bennie, Alexander E Finlayson, Brian Godman

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Pharmaceutical expenditure is rising by 16% per annum in China and is now 46% of total expenditure. Initiatives to moderate growth include drug pricing regulations and encouraging international non-proprietary name prescribing. However, there is no monitoring of physician prescribing quality and perverse incentives. Assess changes in angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) utilization and expenditure as more generics become available; compare findings to Europe. Observational retrospective study of ARB utilization and expenditure between 2006 and 2012 in the largest hospital in Chongqing district. Variable and low use of generics versus originators with a maximum of 31% among single ARBs. Similar for fixed dose combinations. Prices typically reduced over time, greatest for generic telmisartan (-54%), mirroring price reductions in some European countries. However, no preferential increase in prescribing of lower cost generics. Accumulated savings of 33 million CNY for this large provider if they adopted European practices. Considerable opportunities to improve prescribing efficiency in China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-169
Number of pages13
JournalExpert Review of Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


  • angiotensin receptor blockers
  • China
  • drug utilisation
  • health reforms
  • generics
  • pharmaceuticals

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