China to publish first rare disease treatment guidelines

China’s National Health Commission plans to formulate the country’s first-ever dedicated treatment guidelines for rare disease patients, along with a treatment network and a patient registration system – government authorities announced in January.

The announcement by the Chinese government is part of its emerging plan to boost support for patients with rare diseases. In May 2018, China published its first national list of rare diseases, a welcome development for foreign pharmaceutical companies eager to market treatments for their orphan products there.

The publication of the rare disease list was long anticipated as part of a major overhaul of the Chinese healthcare system by the current government. Prior to publication, there was no rare disease list or approved orphan drugs.