A retrospective and prospective assessment of the zero-markup drug reform in China from the perspective of policy diffusion

Jianwei Deng, Huilin Tian, Yilun Guo, Tengyang Ma, Yangjie Sun, Shiyang Zhang, Tianan Yang, Xu Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The zero-markup drug policy is an important component of the new round of Chinese health care reform that began in 2009 to promote the separation between medical and pharmaceutical services, reduce patients' medical burden, and improve the medical supply security system. Over the past 8 years, the zero-markup drug reform policy has been carried out in 4 pilot rounds (a policy diffusion model with Chinese characteristics) and has been promoted throughout the mainland China. At this critical point, it is necessary to review this policy systematically. Therefore, based on the literature, government documents, and interview records, this study analyzed the characteristics, progress, achievements, challenges, and recommendations of zero-markup drug reform by using the policy diffusion theory. The study found that zero-markup drug reform has completed its initial diffusion by use of the “policy experiment” method and has reduced drug prices and patients' burden to a certain extent. However, in the next phase of policy diffusion, the reform still requires adjustment and innovative measures to respond to future challenges. Generally speaking, as China's unique health care reform practice, the experience of zero-markup drug reform could be used as a reference for other countries to control drug prices, separate medical and pharmaceutical services, and establish a modern system of hospital operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e918-e929
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • policy diffusion
  • policy experiment
  • policy progress
  • quality of healthcare
  • zero-markup drug reform

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