China Delays Price Cuts for Imported Implantable Devices

China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has again delayed implementing price controls on imported implantable medical devices. This is the second time legislation has been delayed since July 1, 2012. According to the NDRC draft document, this was the date the price controls were to have originally gone into effect.

Now, NDRC has withdrawn the document — “Interim measures for governing the price of implanted medical devices” — and it is currently discussing possible adjustments. A source close to the NDRC has told China Business News that few changes in the original draft are likely to take place between now and when the final draft is released.

Measures in the draft are vague, but include the following:

  • For implantable medical devices, the difference between the factory price and the sale price to hospitals cannot exceed 50 percent.
  • A hospital cannot increase the retail price of an implanted medical device more than 5 percent over its purchase price.
  • Companies selling implantable medical devices to hospitals must submit price reports once every two years. If the company reports late, or if it raises prices by more than 10 percent year to year, it will have to re-submit its report.

These changes, if implemented, will be significant. Medical device distributors and hospitals in China have expressed concerns with the document, saying that these price controls will “depress innovation.”