Testimony on China's healthcare sector

On April 3, 2014, Karen Eggleston provided testimony before the U.S-China Economic and Security Review Commission at the "Hearing on China’s Healthcare Sector, Drug Safety, and the U.S.-China Trade in Medical Products."

Some of the questions addressed included:

  • How has the nature of disease in China changed in recent decades? What kind of burden might it place on China's future development?
  • If providers are "inducing" demand by overprescribing drugs, it this a public health crisis in the making?
  • Can you outline the pros and cons of market reform in China's healthcare sector? What might be the proper role of the state of improving healthcare delivery?
  • Kan bing nan, kan bing gui (inaccessible and unaffordable healthcare) is one of the top concerns of ordinary Chinese. Which groups are most affected? Is this a global problem, what lessons can we learn from China?
  • The pharmaceuticals industry features in China's Medium and Long-term Plan for Science and Technology (2006-2020), as well as in more recent measures to promote indigenous innovation and industrial upgrading. Is it fair to say that the Chinese government is prioritizing domestic pharmaceutical companies, which foster economic growth, over the welfare of patients?
  • What were major successes and failures of the 2009 healthcare reforms [in China]? How have those reforms been supplemented by more recent measures (e.g. last November's Third Plenum)?
  • What aspects of China's healthcare reform should the U.S. government and U.S. companies pay most attention to?