NRDL Inclusion Offers Substantial Opportunities for Innovative, Clinically Differentiated Therapies in China Despite Steep Price Reductions

“Cracking the Code of the Access Landscape in China: Analysis of the 2021 NRDL Update” Available Now from Trinity Life Sciences

Trinity Life Sciences, a leader in global life sciences commercialization solutions, reports that inclusion on the National Reimbursement Drug List (NRDL) offers substantial opportunities for innovative, clinically differentiated therapies in China despite steep price reductions. According to a new white paper entitled Cracking the Code of the Access Landscape in China: Analysis of the 2021 NRDL Update, the average annual sales for newly listed products on the 2018 -2020 NRDL were two to three times higher in the first year post-NRDL compared to pre-NRDL. The 67 newly listed branded products on the 2021 NRDL received a ~62% price reduction on average, maintaining the ~60% average price reduction trends since 2018.

Since its first negotiation in 2017, the NRDL has become the most important market access pathway in China, providing broad coverage, deep penetration and uptake opportunities for listed products. NRDL negotiations reached a historic high in 2021 with a success rate of over 80% and included a significantly higher proportion of newly launched products compared to prior updates.

“The dramatic sales increase post-NRDL inclusion is primarily driven by immediate increase in patient volume, as treatments become affordable and accessible to most patients,” stated Maximilian Hunt, Partner in the Evidence, Value, Access and Pricing practice at Trinity Life Sciences. “To maintain healthy growth post-NRDL inclusion, manufacturers need to continuously assess key growth drivers and identify opportunities to unlock additional patient populations.”

“The pricing and market access landscape has been rapidly evolving in China, and the centerpiece of this changing landscape is the NRDL,” said Wenting Zhang, PhD, Associate Principal in the Evidence, Value, Access and Pricing practice at Trinity Life Sciences. “The trends that we observed with the 2021 update underscore the importance of securing early NRDL inclusion to achieve optimal product uptake in China.”

Trinity Life Sciences releases annual guidance surrounding each NRDL update to support life sciences executives with successfully navigating the rapidly evolving access landscape in China.

The white paper also provides a deep dive into the 2021 NRDL for oncology, rare disease and chronic disease markets. Life sciences executives are welcome to download the paper by clicking here.

Previously released articles on the 2020 NRDL update are also available:

About Trinity Life Sciences

Trinity Life Sciences is a trusted strategic commercialization partner, providing evidence-based solutions for the life sciences. With 25 years of experience, Trinity is committed to revolutionizing the commercial model by providing exceptional levels of service, powerful tools and data-driven insights. Trinity’s range of products and solutions includes industry-leading benchmarking solutions, powered by TGaS Advisors. To learn more about how Trinity is elevating life sciences and driving evidence to action, visit


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