Premier Li Keqiang wants to ensure the supply and a price reduction for anti-cancer medicines in a written instruction following heated online discussions following the screening of the critically-acclaimed movie Dying to Survive.
The appeal for less-costly imported medicines for patients, who suffer from cancer and other serious diseases, reflected the urgency of tackling the problems of reducing prices and ensuring supplies, Li said in the instruction. Relevant measures, decided at State Council executive meetings, must be carried out urgently, he said.
Two State Council executive meetings, presided over by Li in April and June, decided to drop tariffs on imported cancer-fighting medicines and encourage the importation of innovative drugs.
Anti-cancer medicines can help save patients' lives and prices must be reduced, Li said at the executive meetings. "Multiple measures must be adopted for a faster drop in the prices of anti-cancer drugs to give the public a stronger sense of gain," he said.
"A family has to spend all it has if it has a cancer patient ... Cancer has become 'the most deadly killer' and utmost efforts should be exerted to relieve their burdens," Li said during a tour to Shanghai in April.
For cancer patients, time means survival, the premier said, adding that relevant departments must think as patients do to implement relevant measures.