Monopolise drugs industry, tycoon says

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 March, 2012, 12:00am

The billionaire chairman of Hangzhou Wahaha built his fortune on running a beverage empire in a market economy. But when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry, Zong Qinghou says a monopoly needs to be created.

'The tobacco industry is regulated well. Even though the tobacco industry is highly profitable and the pharmaceutical industry is less profitable, a monopoly would work as well,' People's Daily yesterday quoted Zong as saying.

Zong, a deputy of the National People's Congress, proposed the regulation of the industry, saying there were too many firms and too much competition, with much medicine overpriced and of poor quality.

He said the government should direct pharmaceutical companies to produce medicine and fill production orders based on needs, and that the government should verify the cost and set reasonable prices.

'The profits of pharmaceutical companies should be set at around 10 per cent,' Zong said. 'The products should then be sold to companies in other cities and then directly to hospitals with a 5 per cent price hike.'

He also proposed the government pay salaries of hospital medical staff at similar levels to public servants.

Meanwhile, a standing committee member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference has called for a mechanism to evaluate officials' cultural accomplishments and views before they are promoted.

'Cadres are a key issue in realising the goal of boosting culture, as elaborated at the sixth plenary session of the CPC Central Committee,' said Feng Jicai , vice chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles, People's Daily reported.

'Officials in charge of local cultural affairs set the strategy and direction for cultural development, so they must be cultured and must know and love culture.'