Since May 1 cancer medication imported into China has been tariff-free, which is expected to contribute to a sharp drop in the price of such drugs in China while tackling problems of quality and legality with cancer medication bought from overseas via the Internet.
The purpose of drugs is to save people's life, and they are not equivalent to other commodities. When drug regulations contradict this objective, adjustments are necessary.
According to a report released by the National Cancer Center, each year the country witnesses 4.29 million new cancer cases. China's newly added cancer cases and cancer-related deaths account for 22 percent and 27 percent of the world's respective totals. There is a huge demand in China for anti-cancer drugs and yet the country is not providing enough quality medicine to its cancer patients.
Cancer is a difficult disease to fight. How to effectively combat it while dramatically cutting the cost of medication is crucial for success in the battle against cancer. Abolishing tariffs on the importation of cancer drugs is an important step, but more work still needs to be done to help patients.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published in Guangming Daily on May 7)