The National Health Commission on Thursday released a list of 34 patented drugs and encouraged the production of generic alternatives.
The drugs were selected from a variety used in China whose patents have expired or will soon expire, drugs that are in short supply and drugs whose manufacturers voluntarily applied, the commission said.
The list, which includes drugs that treat serious diseases such as AIDS and leukemia, was published on the commission's website and is soliciting public opinion for five working days.
A plan released by 12 central government departments, including the commission, earlier said the first list of recommended drugs should be released before the end of June to guide pharmaceutical companies' research, development and production.
Such a list will be released every year, the plan said.
A State Council guideline released last year said authorities should take measures to encourage the research and development of generic drugs that are badly in need, to meet the needs of patients and reduce their drug expenditures.