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Why are prescription drugs so expensive? Here is the answer.

A few years ago, Harbin Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd., a Chinese state-owned company and the country’s second-biggest drug maker by market value, posted on their website a set of photographs showing the insides of their office in Harbin, in the northeast of Heilongjiang province. The photos shows an extravagant interior decorated in the style of the Palace of Versailles, with fully carved wood corridors, gold foil inlays, triple-tiered crystal chandelier and marble columns as thick as tree stumps. The construction of the building and interior decorating cost the company more than 93 million yuan (USD 15 million).

Unsurprisingly, the photos generated a huge uproar among Chinese internet users and drew a barrage of criticism. One outraged internet poster wrote on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging site, “It’s a palace which is built on the pain of millions of patients,” while another posted: “Now I finally know why Chinese people can’t afford to go to the doctor and buy medicines.”

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.



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