At the time when the Third Session of the 13th National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China and the Third Session of the 13th CPPCC National Committee were held, the 2020’ Symposium on “Voice and Responsibility” of NPC deputies and CPPCC Members in Medical and Health Industry (the 12th session), co-sponsored by 24 associations from medical and health industry in China such as China Association for Medical Devices Industry, was held in the form of “online + offline” for the first time on May 21. A total of 45 NPC deputies and CPPCC members in the medical and health sectors attended the Symposium online. Leaders and experts from relevant functional departments of ministries and commissions such as National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), National Health Commission (NHC), Ministry of Finance (MOF), Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), Ministry of Commerce (MOC), China National Center for Biotechnology Development directly under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), National Medical Products Administration (NMPA), National Healthcare Security Administration (NHSA), National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (NATCM) were invited to watch the Symposium online.
At the beginning of 2020, China was overwhelmed by the sudden COVID-19 epidemic. As the major force in the fight against the epidemic, medical staff and pharmaceutical enterprises have delivered a good report in the past three months. The Symposium this year is themed on “building a medical and health framework which has China’s advantages and can guarantee the public health and safeguard the national security”. It is hoped to turn the crisis into an opportunity and further integrate the consensus and impetus for comprehensively advancing the reform of the medical and health system, expediting the transformation and upgrading of the pharmaceutical industry, and promoting the construction of a Healthy China.
Due to the need for epidemic prevention and control, all the attending representatives and members participated in the remote discussion online. In the meantime, the Symposium also expanded the scope of NPC deputies and CPPCC members from the pharmaceutical industry to the health sector for the first time, and solicited 12 NPC deputies and CPPCC members from the medical front. The NPC deputies and CPPCC members talked freely about the following four major topics and put forward a great many of comments and suggestions: a) How to accelerate the construction of China’s pharmaceutical innovation system, break through the weak links in the domestic industry chain of innovative drugs, and raise the overall level of China’s innovative pharmaceutical enterprises; b) How to give full play to China’s medical advantages, reinforce the weak links in the TCM development, and create a healthy “double security” barrier for a Healthy China which combines Chinese and Western medicine; c) How to deepen the reform of the medical security system, constantly perfect the construction of the system, and improve the comprehensive management capability in the reform of medical care, medical insurance and pharmaceutical industry; d) How to fill the gaps in medical, public health and pharmaceutical policies exposed in the COVID-19 epidemic; How should public health institutions, medical departments and pharmaceutical enterprises better safeguard people’s health by “ensuring basic medical services, bolstering support at the community level and building sound institutions”.
The 24 associations from the pharmaceutical industry in China have been making active preparations and joint efforts. Since the second half of last year, the associations have been divided into multiple groups and extensively collected the major problems in the current pharmaceutical industry through grassroots investigations, symposiums and online questionnaires. Meanwhile, the groups also sorted out the issues reported by grassroots enterprises into 130 materials for proposals and suggestions and three summaries of grassroots investigations for the discussion and reference of deputies and members.
Since it was first held in 2009, the Symposium on “Voice and Responsibility” of NPC Deputies and CPPCC Members in Medical and Health Industry, sponsored by 24 associations from pharmaceutical industry and undertaken by “people.com.cn - health.people.cn” and Healthcare Executive (a magazine), has attracted more and more attention and gathered more and more voices. In 2019, nearly 40 deputies to the national and provincial people’s congresses along with CPPCC members in the pharmaceutical industry attended the Symposium. According to incomplete statistics, the proposals related to pharmaceutical industry put forward by NPC deputies and CPPCC members in 2019 received over 200 replies from NDRC, NHC, MIIT, NMPA, NHSA, NATCM, and other competent departments.
The NPC deputies and CPPCC members perform their duties earnestly, and the Symposium serves as a platform for all these representatives to make exchanges and contribute insightful ideas. As a result, the positive interaction between the government and the industry is taking shape in the pharmaceutical industry, which has played an active role in advancing the reform of the medical system and the construction of a Healthy China.