Oct. 13, 2023, China’s National Joint Drug Procurement Office announced a list of 42 drugs1 (based on active pharmaceutical ingredients) for the 9th volume-based procurement (VBP).
China’s VBP, a bulk-buy program, takes place almost every year since the initial pilot in 2018. VBP is intended to supply medicines to hospitals at lower prices by making suppliers bypass the marketing phase, therefore avoiding the potential for excessive promotion fees. Generally, products that won the VBP bid are generics demonstrated to be equivalent to the reference listed drugs (RLDs).
Out of the 42 drugs to be enrolled in China’s 9th VBP, the top 10 best-selling drugs accounted for over CNY 17 billion2 (circa USD 2.32 billion) in sales at Chinese public hospitals in 2022. Sales of the top two drugs—the immediate-release dosage forms of rabeprazole and propofol injections—exceeded CNY 3.8 billion and CNY 3.6 billion last year.
Companies intending to participate in the 9th VBP are required to submit applications by Nov. 2, 2023, as stated by the drug procurement office. The bidding results are scheduled to be public four days after the submission deadline.