A new Chinese law (in effect as of December 1, 2019) makes third-party
online platform medicine sales legal, appropriately ends a draconian definition
of counterfeit drugs, and effectively decriminalizes personal drug importation,
but with a lot of gray! The changes were part of a major overhaul of the Drug Administrative Law
of the People’s Republic of China (DAL). The previous linked to page is in
Chinese but you can use Google translate to read it in English or another
language. A summary in English can be found here:
of Revised Chinese Drug Administration Law
For supporters of online access to safe and affordable
imported medicines, this is kind of cool.
(more…)Tagged with: China, Gleevec, lu yong
At the beginning of this year, we brought you the story of Lu Yong, a Chinese citizen with Leukemia who was facing severe financial hardship due to the $3,783 monthly cost of his cancer medication, Gleevec. Mr. Lu found out he could order Veenat, a generic version of Gleevec, from India for a more affordable $640 a month. Soon thereafter he started helping fellow Leukemia sufferers – a thousand of them – access Veenat, in effect helping save their lives. Mr. Lu was rewarded by being charged with selling counterfeit drugs and credit card fraud!
The problem was that Veenat, an entirely genuine, legally manufactured and effective medication approved in India, is designated as “counterfeit” and unapproved in China. The credit card fraud charge was brought because Mr. Lu used other patients’ credit cards to order their medicine.
So, our earlier blog post on this story was called “Low Cost Counterfeit Drugs Save Lives in China…What?!” Seem like a stretch? Not really. Medication deemed “counterfeit” was in fact saving lives. A Chinese court seemed to agree, determining that Mr. Lu’s action should not be construed as “selling counterfeit drugs” since the medication was genuine. Additionally, because his use of other people’s credit cards was to help them, it was not “criminal behavior.” For more read about it in Chinese Radio International.
Lu Yong is a prescription access hero and we applaud him rancorously. Kudos to the Chinese legal system as well.
Tagged with: China, generic gleevec, Gleevec, lu yong, veenat