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China Solidifies Drug-Buying Program That Saved $41 Billion

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China will make permanent a program that buys drugs and devices in high volume and at low cost, a move designed to drive down medical expenses that also crimps profit margins for the health care industry in the world’s most populous country.

The government will carry out centralized bulk-buying of drugs and high-value medical supplies “on a regular and institutionalized basis” to further cut drug prices and benefit patients, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said in a statement Monday evening.