[Ip-health] Leukemia Patient in Court for Buying Cheap Medicine from India

Gaelle Krikorian gaelle.krikorian at gmail.com
Mon Jan 5 04:23:05 PST 2015

Dear all,

Does anybody know if there is some sort of mobilization/support in addition to the petition in China?



> Le 4 janv. 2015 à 01:29, odilon couzin <ocouzin at gmail.com> a écrit :
> Here are a couple links to this article and other related ones, for anyone
> interested. There is much talk but limited action around doing this for
> other medicines as well.
> Leukemia Patient in Court for Buying Cheap Medicine from India
> http://english.caixin.com/2014-12-23/100767099.html
> Leukemia patient prosecuted for buying pills overseas
> http://www.china.org.cn/china/2014-12/22/content_34380340.htm
> Leukemia Patient Faces Charges for Importing Life-Saving Medicine
> http://beijingtoday.com.cn/2014/12/leukemia-patient-faces-charges-importing-life-saving-medicine/
> On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 10:51 PM, Tahir Amin <tahir at i-mak.org> wrote:
>> *Lu Yong nearly went broke getting his drugs in China, but purchasing a
>> cheap generic substitute from abroad has landed him in legal trouble*
>> (Beijing) – To prosecutors, a leukemia patient named Lu Yong is a criminal
>> involved in credit card fraud and a counterfeit drug scam. But to 1,000
>> fellow leukemia patients in China, Lu is an unsung hero for helping them
>> get access to cheap, life-saving generic medicines from India.
>> The difference of opinion underscores a dilemma confronting Chinese
>> patients who cannot afford expensive imported drugs but also face obstacles
>> getting access to life-saving substitutes.
>> Lu, a 46-year old exporter from Wuxi, in the eastern province of Jiangsu,
>> will stand trial in a court in Yuanjiang, in the central province of Hunan,
>> on charges of credit card-related fraud and sales of fake drugs.
>> Some 300 fellow patients have petitioned the courts to have his name
>> cleared.
>> Lu was diagnosed with leukemia more than 10 years ago and treated with
>> Glivec, a patented drug made by Novartis International AG. The Swiss
>> company got a license to sell the medicine in China in 2002.
>> The drug regimen costs 23,500 yuan a month and is not covered by China's
>> health care insurance, meaning it is too expensive for many ordinary
>> people.
>> After spending hundreds of thousands of yuan on the medicine, Lu was close
>> to be broke in 2004 when he came across an English-language article
>> mentioning another leukemia drug, Veenat, a much cheaper generic version of
>> Glivec made in India.
>> He spent 3,000 yuan on Veenat bought via mail order, and his condition
>> quickly improved. Lu not only switched to the generic drug himself, but
>> also started to help fellow patients he met in an online forum buy it.
>> For this, he was arrested in a crackdown on credit card fraud in Yuanjiang
>> in August 2013. In July he was charged with "disrupting management of
>> credit cards" and sales of fake medications.
>> Luo Jian, a prosecutor in Yuanjiang, told Caixin that any drug lacking a
>> government license – even one made by a registered pharmaceutical company –
>> is classified as counterfeit under Chinese law.
>> Lu also broke the law by providing his Indian supplier with a credit card
>> he got from abroad in order to simplify distribution, Luo said. (Using
>> credit cards from domestic banks to complete international transactions is
>> often impossible in China.)
>> The patent for Novartis' Glivec expired in 2013, and at least two
>> China-based pharmaceutical companies have jumped on the opportunity to
>> churn out generic substitutes.
>> But a generic version produced by Chia Tai Tianqing Pharmaceutical Group in
>> Jiangsu cost 4,200 yuan a month and another substitute, from Jiangsu Hansoh
>> Pharmaceutical, cost 3,800 yuan a month. The versions from India cost 200
>> yuan a month.
>> "That's why mail orders of (both patented and generic drugs) from overseas
>> suppliers are so popular in China," an analyst with knowledge of the drug
>> market said.
>> Chinese patients snub locally made generic medicines because they are
>> concerned about quality.
>> Shi Lichen, a senior partner at the medical and pharmaceutical unit of All
>> PKU, a consultancy in Beijing, said India's patent law allows companies to
>> make generic versions of patented drugs released in developed countries.
>> "That's why Indian-made generic substitutes can be much cheaper," he said.
>> Chinese law lets drugs firms apply to mass produce generic drugs on the
>> grounds that major public health threat exists, but few companies have
>> shown interest because the government forces them to wait a long time for
>> permission.
>> For example, an executive from a Chinese pharmaceutical company said that
>> that the patent for Tenofovir, or Viread, which is used to treat HIV and
>> hepatitis B infections, would expire in 2017. "But if we apply for approval
>> of a generic substitute right now, we will have to wait for three years,
>> which is not far away from the expiration date of the drug's patent."
>> (Rewritten by Li Rongde)
>> --
>> Tahir Amin
>> Co-Founder and Director of Intellectual Property
>> Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK)
>> *Website:* www.i-mak.org
>> *Email:* tahir at i-mak.org
>> *Skype: *tahirmamin
>> *Tel:* +1 917 455 6601/+1 646 884 7418/+44 771 853 9472
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Gaelle Krikorian
galk at free.fr

Tel +33 (0)6 09 17 70 55

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