Farmers in Sichuan

"Sichuan Farmer and the Spread of the Swine Flu"

Often times rural countries are the prime target for such viruses as those that are highly contagious among animals, but these are the countries that have less availability to the resources needed.

Most recently Sichuan farmers were plagued by the swine flu because of their extended interaction with these pigs.  There were over seventeen cases that sprung out from the hills, but they found themselves in very short supply of the antiviral drug. 

If it wasn't for the Sichuan Government who implemented a pilot project in 2002 for direct drug delivery, these farmers could have been one of many to succumb to the virus.  The government also encouraged village pharmacies and clinics to participate in this network of drug delivery services. 

Unfortunately while the implementation of this plan was great in theory, it is still difficult for Sichuan farmers  to gain access to this medication because of the exorbitant drug prices.  In 2004, the Sichuan government decided to pass prescription drug mark up controls, which prohibited the increase of prices in medication.  For instance wholesale distributors would markup the price of the drugs by 6% and then the hospitals would mark up the price again by another 30% to its patients.

Now the wholesale distributors must submit a price list of their drugs to agencies who will then together work out a system of payment that would not result in the resale of these drugs at exorbitant prices. 

And again at the end of 2006, the Sichuan Food and Drug Administration cooperated with the greater Sichuan Kelun Pharmaceutical Company to ensure that prices were stable and reasonable enough for patients to get their hands on them.

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