Influence of Government Price Regulation on the Price, Volume and Spending of Antibiotics in China: A Controlled Interrupted Time Series Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Center for Strategic Studies, Chinese Academy of Engineering, Beijing, China

2 School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

3 International Research Center for Medicinal Administration (IRCMA), Peking University, Beijing, China

4 Department of Pharmacy Administration and Clinical Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China


Chinese government established maximum retail prices for antibiotics listed in China’s National Reimbursement List in February 2013. This study aimed to analyze the impact of pharmaceutical price regulation on the price, volume and spending of antibiotics in China.

An interrupted time series design with comparison series was used to examine impacts of the policy changes on average daily cost, monthly hospital purchase volume and spending of the 11 price-regulated antibiotics and 40 priceunregulated antibiotics in 699 hospitals. One intervention point was applied to assess the impact of policy.
After government price regulation, compared to price-unregulated antibiotics, the average daily cost of the price-regulated group declined rapidly (β = -5.68, P < .001). The average hospital monthly purchase spending of priceregulated antibiotics also decreased rapidly (β = -0.49, P < .010) and a positive trend change (β = 0.04, P < .001) in average hospital spending of price-unregulated antibiotics was found.
Government regulation can reduce the prices and spending of price-regulated antibiotics. To control increasing expenditure, besides price caps regulation, factors determining drug utilization also need to be considered in policy designing.



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Volume 11, Issue 2
February 2022
Pages 218-223
  • Receive Date: 12 December 2019
  • Revise Date: 18 June 2020
  • Accept Date: 27 June 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 February 2022