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City lists 688 medicines covered by insurance

A total of 688 commonly used medicines are on the city's basic medicine list, meaning they are covered by medical insurance and are sold at cost price, Shanghai Health Bureau announced yesterday.

State-run community hospitals are required to only sell drugs on the basic medicine list. This is intended to make better use of local medical resources and encourage people to go to community hospitals for treatment of small and common diseases.

Under a national health reform that began in April, Shanghai government has worked out a local reform plan based on the city's medical resources and living standard.

The city's basic medicine list, based on the national list, includes Western and traditional Chinese medicines.

Under the policy, all drugs will be purchased by the government through bidding and will be retailed at cost price.

Normally, hospitals can add a surcharge of up to 15 percent for medicines they sell.

Local community hospitals are expected to finish their purchase of basic medicines and start selling them at cost price before June.


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