The plot of the act follows the story of the protagonist Lu Yong who originally a small entrepreneur who was selling male healthcare products.
Yong is diagnosed with leukemia and prescribed with medication Gleevec, which costs 25,000 Yuan a bottle. After spending a significant amount of his money, Yong switches to Veenat, an Indian cancer drug which is similarly effective but costs considerably less (“Dying to Survive”). Although Veenat is not approved by Chinese authorities, Yong is determined to assist other cancer patients in the country by becoming an exclusive agent of the Indian drug in China. He is arrested and charged despite assisting patients who could not afford the proper medication approved by the government. The patients he has assisted refer to him as “Medicine God (“Dying to Survive”). While the precursor text focuses on cancer drugs and their availability in different markets, it can be adapted to satisfy a new goal that involves evaluating the Chinese social system in 2002 and the factors that made medicine so expensive at the time.
For a long time, poverty has been a feature of the Chinese community. The extended period of economic development in the country assisted numerous individuals in acquiring wealth. However, the ‘new rich’ was also the disturbing fact that there was a large number of people suffering from absolute poverty. The financial and social states of the poor contrasted sharply with that of the blooming working class. The opinions over the significance of inequality and poverty in China around the year 2002 varied significantly (“Dying to Survive”). Since the start of the economic development in China, a rift developed between financial specialists and sociologists. The former assumed the responsibility of releasing the country from the control of the central planning framework and coordinating the Chinese economy with the global market. Different social issues have been left to sociologists whose voices have for long been overpowered by the increasing number of gold rushers. Thus, little attention was directed towards the impoverished in the Chinese society.
As the economic reforms took shape, social development in the country was slow. Therefore, various social policies including healthcare, housing, social safety net, and pensions were forced into political agendas. During the period when Dying to Survive was released, researches on social problems were not aimed at improving the lives of the poor. Rather, they were engineered to influence further economic growth for the state with disregard to the financial situation of certain individuals in the society. The swelling social and political instability influenced a swift increase of the gap between the rich and the poor. The self-assertive division between financial development and social security has only concentrated on money-related requirements and decisions. It has neglected to get a handle on the potential of incorporating social improvement into the general national strategy.
Further, the years between 2000 and 2004 in the country marked the period when challenges of the pro-urban growth strategy became evident. Concerns were raised regarding whether the economy would experience a hard landing due to the failure to sustain the social demands. The country’s market-oriented monetary advancement has dramatically affected its healthcare conveyance. The move in the rationality from social welfare and open merchandise to market products has set up a foundation for noteworthy policy changes in healthcare. The sharp decrease in government endowments to healthcare facilities in addition to the reception of a market arranged repayment component had prompted the soaring increments in healthcare expenditures. Profit-driven behaviors of healthcare facilities in addition to the absence of adequate federal regulations in both the healthcare and the pharmaceutical market have prompted tremendous inefficiencies in the system. Therefore, equal access to health care services in the country was significantly affected.
Moreover, in the last two decades, the vast majority of the increments in healthcare expenditures are credited to either an absence of government financing or absurd service charges. Besides the country’s complex situation, China’s immature medical coverage infrastructure was not able to cover additional increments in social insurance costs, which has kept the dominant part of the populace from accessing medical services. Chinese infection prevention and the general healthcare framework were additionally weakened. Hence, a large number of people was unable to access vital but expensive medication for different conditions including cancer.
At the same time, although there is no evidence the Chinese healthcare framework is in an emergency situation, the system is confronted by enormous difficulties. The legislature has been battling for over ten years to discover approaches to modify an efficient and affordable healthcare system within Chinese vast and swiftly developing national market economy. Over the years, the administration has for the first time admitted that its two-decade healthcare reform had been a disappointment. It is an accord that, depending on markets to dispense assets, has compromised access to healthcare services. Thus, the effectiveness, quality, and affordability of health care are significantly affected.
The story in Dying to Survive shows that the two major factors that made medication unaffordable, especially cancer drugs, are a large number of patients with the condition and the fact that many effective drugs are expansive to import and are not often covered by the national health insurance scheme. The processes of conducting tests for cancer drugs in China have been expensive over the years since numerous trials are involved before the medication can gain approval to be used in the healthcare system. Besides, cancer patients are treated with approved medication that can be used individually or in combination with other medicines due to the incurable nature if most cancers. In case the monopoly is broke with the introduction of a new and improved drug, the older ones are often perceived as substandard. Leukemia is a severe diagnosis, and patients are often willing to pay for its expensive treatment. Nevertheless, the lack of equity in health care services in China continues to hinder some people from accessing the quality care necessary. Ultimately, the systems in the country provide an incentive to break down the barriers that prevent access to treatment, and in its turn, the film reflects on the desperate measures patients go through to access affordable medication.
Furthermore, since its release, the film has had significant impacts on the Chinese healthcare system. Findings by the National Central Cancer Registry of China have shown that the incidence of cancer and deaths related to the condition have been on the rise for decades. Enhancing the affordability and accessibility of effective cancer medications is vital to addressing the considerable burden of the disease in China. Nevertheless, regarding the affordability of the drugs, China is considered one of the nations with the most expensive costs around the globe. Reducing the price of cancer medication is the most effective way of addressing the challenge.
Contrary to how the socio-economic condition of residents has affected access to cancer medication over the years, the government is currently putting measures in place to promote new cancer drug discovery and development, speeding up the evaluation and approval of new medications, minimizing circulation costs, and enhancing diagnosis of the condition in China. The desperate moves of cancer patients to access affordable and effective medicines with disregard to the lengths they have to go through have come to light. Thus, new healthcare policies enacted in the country are aimed towards easing the burden of accessing effective but affordable medication.
In conclusion, the work Dying to Survive focuses on cancer drugs and their availability in different markets. However, it can be adapted to satisfy a new goal that involves evaluating the Chinese social system in 2002 and the factors that made medicine so expensive at the time. China has struggled to build its economy to what it is today. While some benefited and acquired wealth that enabled them to access their needs, a percentage of the population was not as lucky.
The monetary and social states of the poor contrasted sharply with the states of the blooming working class. In addition to its intricate situation, China’s immature medical coverage infrastructure was not able to cover additional increments in social insurance costs, which has kept the dominant part of the populace from accessing medical services. Hence, the move can be adapted to depict the socio-economic aspect of China and its implications for obtaining healthcare services.