China’s NHFPC and CFDA to be downgraded amid ministerial reshuffle

The National People’s Congress officially approved plans for a ministry shakeup

The National People’s Congress officially approved plans for a ministry shakeup that will change the landscape of health regulation in China. Amid a reduction in the number of state-level ministries, vice-ministries, and commissions, both the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) and National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) are set to be dissolved.

Functions previously performed by the CFDA and NHFPC will be subsumed within two new super-ministries: drug administration will be carried out by a second-tier ministry under the National Market Supervision Administration (NMSA; no official translation/abbreviation available currently). The NMSA is also set to take on duties previously managed by the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)’s Price Supervision, Inspection and Antitrust Bureau. The NHFPC’s functions will chiefly be carried out by a new National Medical and Health Commission (NMHC). A dedicated National Medical Insurance Ministry will also be established, rationalizing management of China’s national insurance schemes under one roof.

Full details of the reshuffle will emerge in coming weeks, with new appointments beginning to be made. While day-to-day drug administration is likely to continue with little disruption, the demotion of the CFDA to a second-tier unit creates much uncertainty for companies operating in the market, the agency having played a leading role in pushing forward reforms to encourage drug innovation and accelerate market approval timelines. Source: GBI (

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