The State Council, China's cabinet, on Sunday promised to boost medical research and development, especially traditional Chinese medicine.
More traditional medicines will be added to the national list of essential drugs, said a statement issued after the executive meeting of the State Council, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang.
More resources and policies will support the development of traditional medicine, the statement said, including conservation of ancient medical texts. The pharmaceutical industry is encouraged to use modern technology in researching traditional medicine, while hospitals and researchers are encouraged to try traditional therapies in treating complex chronic diseases.
Private practices will enjoy equal treatment to state institutions and the network will be expanded.
The state will redouble efforts in the fight against cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, and policy support in finance, tax and government contracts will support the development and marketing of new medicines.
Improvements will be made to quality control in the pharmaceutical industry and safety assessment of medicines. Quality standards will match international norms.
Restructuring and mergers of pharmaceutical companies are welcomed to remove less competitive players from the market.
A national database of medicine, including information on price and quality assessment, will be open to the public.