Summary of No Room for Cheap Cures

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No Room for Cheap Cures summary

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It’s every opportunist company’s dream: a product that’s necessary to survival plus limitations on competition and other market forces that would ordinarily drive the price of that product down. These are the conditions which result in desperate people having to pay exorbitant prices for necessary medicine. Isn’t this where regulators ought to step in? In China, the regulators have stepped in to protect consumers, but they’ve had mixed success. A team of Caixin reporters and editors tells the story of the protracted battle among pharmaceutical companies, Chinese hospitals, online marketplaces, and the humble, and often quite sick, consumer. getAbstract recommends this revealing Caixin article to health care industry regulators, patients and pharmaceutical providers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why medicine often costs Chinese citizens a lot of money and inconvenience,
  • How online drug sales have benefited the average consumer, and
  • How hospitals and pharmaceutical companies are working to keep drug costs artificially high.
 

About the Authors

Wang Jing, Ma Danmeng, Ren Bo, Li Yan, Liu Jiaying, Zhao Jinzhao and Han Wei  are writers and editors for the Chinese business magazine Caixin.

 

Summary

Liang Weng has chronic liver disease, and must take medicine daily to keep it under control. He makes ¥2,000 (approximately $300) per month as a cook. For a while, ¥300 of that went to his medicine. To make matters worse, he had to travel a long distance to the hospital and then stand in line to pick up his prescription. Like many other Chinese citizens, he was delighted when he learned he could buy cheaper medicine from an online service that would deliver the drug to his door. Unfortunately for Liang, this cheaper, more convenient means of getting his lifesaving drugs may disappear like the 260 online drug retailers who left China’s market in 2017.

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