Recently, one Chinese movie is becoming increasingly popular–Dying To Survive. The movie is based on a true story. It is about a man named Zhaoyong who is selling illegal medicine, which is used for chronic myeloid leukemia ( CML ). The medicine is a generic drug. But, in China generic drugs do not have licenses. It is illegal to sell generic drugs in China. In the past, many patients could not afford the cost of licensed medicine. They had to die. But, Indian generic drugs are more than 10 times cheaper than licensed drugs. Indian generic drugs save many lives. But, this leads to a big problem: What is more important, human life or copyright?
There are two sides to drug manufacturing. On the one hand, new drugs need copyright protection. Why is copyright important? What is the reason? It is expensive to invent a new medicine. Inventing a new medicine needs a lot of professional doctors, a lot of animal testing, a lot of time, and yet the medicine may not succeed. It is difficult to explore a new medicine. It may take years to explore a new medicine. It is important to make sure that experimental medicines are not copied by others. Otherwise, they do not get revenue from the medicines. They cannot make the medicine without the revenue. However, if the medicine is too expensive, only a few people are able to afford it. Then, what is the meaning of inventing a better medicine? A lot of people still cannot be saved. The purposes of invent a better medicine is to save more people’s lives. But, those people who need the medicine do not have money to buy it. They cannot be saved. The cheap generic drugs can save their lives.
On the other hand, if we buy generic drugs, nobody will pay for licensed drugs. Then,the doctors do not have money to invent better medicine. There is no improvement in this area. What if the disease gets worse and there is no medicine? Then, all patients have to die. It seems that generic drugs do not save people’s lives. Instead, it leads to a worse situation; whether you are rich or poor, there is no medicine for you.
What can the government do to try to find a balance between the two needs? It is lucky that Chinese government has found a better way to deal with different needs. The government has put these medicines into government security. This means that the government will pay for most of the medicine. The patients only need to pay for a small part of the medicine. The patients can afford the medicine and the producer of the medicine gets revenue money. It is a win-win situation.