Journal of Public Health Policy

, Volume 32, Issue 3, pp 305–319 | Cite as

An analysis of China's national essential medicines policy

  • Xiaodong Guan
  • Huigang Liang
  • Yajiong Xue
  • Luwen ShiEmail author
Original Article


Although China embraced the concept of essential medicines in 1979 and issued its first National Essential Medicines List in 1982, until recently China has lacked a comprehensive national essential drug policy. In its most recent health-care reform (2009–2012), the Chinese government explicitly proposed the establishment of a national essential medicines system, and made it one of five top priorities in the coming years. We review the evolution of China's essential medicines policies, explain the importance of fully implementing the essential medicines policy, and analyze recent policy developments surrounding essential medicines.


essential medicines China pharmaceutical policy health-care reform 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaodong Guan
    • 1
  • Huigang Liang
    • 2
  • Yajiong Xue
    • 2
  • Luwen Shi
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical PharmacyPeking UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Center for Health Management Systems, College of Business, East Carolina UniversityGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.International Research Center of Medicinal Administration, Peking UniversityBeijingChina

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