How does China get global big pharma to cut prices?
China has added the largest ever batch of new products to its list of subsidized drugs, in a move that will cut the costs of many drugs in half.  Seventy drugs were added to the national reimbursement list at the end of November, many of them cancer and anti-infection treatments, after extensive negotiations with pharmaceutical companies. “The number of new drugs and the total amount of medications negotiated have reached a new record. Many imported drugs will have the lowest price in the world,” the National Healthcare Security Administration said. High drug prices, especially for cancer drugs, have long been a problem in China. The issue was highlighted by the hit film Dying to Survive, re
How does China get global big pharma to cut prices?
Will an online ban stub out China’s vaping industry?
The vaping industry has suffered a series of setbacks around the world following a spate of deaths in the United States. A number of governments are now considering or implementing bans even as Donald Trump has wavered over whether to introduce similar measures in the US. Now China, where a lack of regulation and the ease of buying online helped create millions of e-cigarette users, has dealt what may be the most substantial blow yet to the global industry. The world’s largest country banned all sales of e-cigarettes online starting November 1. Tobacco has long been identified as a major public health challenge in China. The country is the world’s largest tobacco producer and has more than 3
Will an online ban stub out China’s vaping industry?
Why China’s cancer patients have great sympathy for convicted ‘drug god’
Zhai Yiping clearly broke the law. But is what he did wrong? The question has been raised as part of a discussion of China’s health care system after Zhai was punished for selling foreign drugs to cancer patients in a country where those medications are unavailable or expensive. After being diagnosed with liver cancer in 2014, Zhai devoured news of the latest cancer drugs released around the world. In 2016, he found two new overseas medicines that were more effective than similar medications in China and cost less.  Zhai spread the news to other patients in China and, eventually, the demand became so high that he started to smuggle these drugs from Germany. He charged a 5% markup. He would b
 Why China’s cancer patients have great sympathy for convicted ‘drug god’
Chinese man contracts bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit
A man from Inner Mongolia, in northern China, has contracted the bubonic plague after eating a wild rabbit, the local health authority said on Sunday.  The diagnosis came less than a week after two other people from the region were reported to have fallen ill with the pneumonic form of the disease. Plague, which comes in three strains – bubonic, pneumonic and septicaemic – is categorized as the most severe contagious disease in China due to its high infection and mortality rates. The latest victim is a 55-year-old man who was not named. He caught and ate the rabbit on November 5 and appeared unaffected for more than a week. However, on Saturday he fell ill with a fever and went to the hospit
Chinese man contracts bubonic plague after eating wild rabbit
Chinese city passes landmark law to promote breastfeeding
A megacity in south China has become the first in the country to pass a law promoting breastfeeding, which remains unpopular despite the myriad proven benefits of human milk. The law, passed in Guangzhou, requires public places such as train stations, museums and parks to set up dedicated lactation rooms, or face fines. Employers must provide breastfeeding mothers with a one-hour daily break to feed or pump. It also bans hospitals and medical institutions from taking money from or collaborating with formula makers. But the law doesn’t ban formula companies from advertising. Currently, only 29% of Chinese mothers are exclusively breastfeeding their babies under six months of age, compared to
Chinese city passes landmark law to promote breastfeeding
Doctor says 67-year-old mother in China conceived naturally
A woman reported to be China’s oldest mother gave birth last week at the age of 67. If the claim is substantiated, the woman, surnamed Tian, would have overtaken the previous record held by a woman who gave birth at the age of 64 in 2016. But that woman, from the northern Chinese province of Jilin, reportedly conceived her child from in vitro fertilization. It was not known whether she had used her own eggs or eggs from a donor. Celebrities such as Janet Jackson and Brigitte Nielsen have made headlines for giving birth in their early 50s, around the average age of menopause. Nielsen reportedly said she had frozen her eggs.  What’s unusual about Tian, a retired nurse from the eastern provin
Doctor says 67-year-old mother in China conceived naturally
Scientists wiped out mosquitoes on two islands using new method
Itchy from mosquito bites? Scientists have wiped out the entire population of mosquitoes on two islands in southern China, using a radical technique to make the males infertile. The study, published in the journal Nature, could transform the fight against a range of deadly diseases carried by mosquitoes. Over nearly two years, scientists released more than 200 million specially bred male Asian tiger mosquitoes on the Shazai and Dadaosha islands in the delta to the south of Guangzhou, the area with the highest number of dengue fever cases in China. The mosquitoes, also known as Aedes albopictus, had been exposed to short bursts of gamma radiation and received three artificially induced infec
Scientists wiped out mosquitoes on two islands using new method
A family couldn’t afford health care. So they drew lots
A Chinese husband was forced to pass up treatment for cancer so that his wife and daughter could both receive the medical care they needed. The 42-year-old man, Ke Meinan, was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2015. A month later, his 46-year-old wife Wang Huaying was diagnosed with breast cancer. But when their 16-year-old daughter was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus, the family, from the eastern province of Jiangxi, realized they could not afford to pay for all three of them to be treated. Ke convinced his wife to draw lots to decide which one would skip medical care – but later admitted to rigging the draw to ensure that she would continue to receive treatment. Footage of the
A family couldn’t afford health care. So they drew lots
The fight of this Taiwanese activist’s life? The right to die
Rose Yang Yu-xing talks about death with grace, dignity and courage. The 44-year-old has spoken publicly about the subject since 2012, when she began a four-year term as a lawmaker in Taiwan. The wheelchair user is the major force behind Taiwan’s Patient Autonomy Act – the first such law in Asia – which gives terminally ill patients and those with incurable diseases the right to reject life-prolonging treatment. Yang spent her time in office pushing for enactment of the law, which came into effect in January 2019. Yang was diagnosed with Miyoshi myopathy, a rare form of muscular dystrophy, when she was 19. Within months she was paralyzed. Miyoshi myopathy usually affects people who are middl
The fight of this Taiwanese activist’s life? The right to die
What is China going to do with millions of dead pigs?
As a deadly pig virus continues to spread globally, China and several other East Asian countries have turned to the mass slaughter of pigs as a way to contain the epidemic. But the culling poses another urgent challenge to the world’s largest pork producing country: what do you do with the bodies of millions of pigs? Proper disposal of the carcasses is key to prevent the infectious disease from spreading further and the remains from causing secondary pollution. In China, the job falls on special facilities that break down animal carcasses either chemically or by cremation, an agricultural official from Guangdong province told Inkstone. “If they have no access to such a plant, they would deep
What is China going to do with millions of dead pigs?