Author: 长洱 / Chang’er
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
This was the second time Lin Chen heard the keyword “Dana Region”. If it weren’t for Mrs. Jiang’s relationship, his knowledge of this area would be limited to “don’t ever go even if your life depended on it”. But now, because of Doctors Without Borders, he found his psychological distance from the Dana Region seemingly getting closer.
It seemed that one day he would set foot there.
He looked at the young man in front of him again.
Before entering the shop just now, he had been sitting across the road, observing him.
After all, there were too many bad people nowadays, and he had to use some method to confirm that this young man wasn’t someone with evil intentions. Based on his resume, Lin Chen specifically chose a meeting place near the high school the other party attended, which the young man wasn’t even aware of. When he couldn’t find him, the young man didn’t become angry but was just anxious and seemed at a loss.
These reactions made Lin Chen feel that this young man, who didn’t have much heart, was simple and persistent.
This was his current judgment.
However, for a person who didn’t have much heart, he just confided in him in a snack shop about the shady plot of a pharmaceutical company’s intention to kill approval experts and steal other people’s research results. Lin Chen felt he needed time to digest this information.
He lowered his head, picked up the spoon, and sipped on his hot soup.
Seeing that he wasn’t speaking and was just drinking soup, the young man urged again.
“The clam soup here is delicious. I used to come here with my friends. You should try it,” Lin Chen said.
“I—!” The young man wanted to say more, but in the end, he became obedient. He bowed his head and sipped on the soup.
In the next moment, the young man almost spat out the soup. Lin Chen looked up and saw that he had barely swallowed a mouthful, yet tears were about to flow out of his eyes. Lin Chen looked down at the soup bowl in front of him, feeling as if they weren’t eating the same amount of spiciness.
The young man continued to cough. Lin Chen took a napkin from the table and handed it over, but his kindness was rejected.
“This kind of inferior napkin has excessive bacteria and fluorescent agent content. You should never use it.” As the young man said this, he coughed and took out his own tissues from his backpack. He handed one to Lin Chen and then covered his mouth.
Lin Chen looked at the tissue in his hand helplessly. From many details, it could be seen that this young man had a meticulous and considerate character. Although he had a slight obsession with cleanliness, a doctor would always prefer things to be cleaner.
The number of people in the shop gradually increased. When there were too many people talking, no one would pay attention to what they said.
Lin Chen lowered his head and took a sip of the soup. When he raised his head again, the young man’s cough gradually stopped. “Mr. Duan Yang, what does this matter you mention have to do with me?”
Hearing him ask this, there was obvious disappointment in the young man’s expression.
Lin Chen knocked on the table and was unmoved. “Regarding the clues about Zhourui Pharmaceutical’s deliberate murder of Director Li, I’ll inform Vice Captain Jiang of the Yongchuan Second Division. He’s Director Li’s husband and will be the one who’s more concerned about her safety than you or me. I also killed the murderer. Zhourui Pharmaceutical will launch a PR offensive to deal with me. At most, it was just for the sake of their corporate image. If I don’t care, then there’s no point.” Lin Chen glanced at the young man sitting across from him. “As for the theft of your teacher’s research results or what’s wrong with the drug, first, I have no power, and second, medicine is not my specialty. I really don’t think I can help you.”
The young man lowered his head slightly. Lin Chen didn’t know if it was because the soup was too spicy or something else, but the tips of his nose and eyes were a little red. “Yes, as you said, you can’t help.”
He said this to himself, then picked up his backpack and stood up.
Lin Chen didn’t stop him.
But when he walked to the door, he suddenly turned back and bowed to him, then said, “Consultant Lin, before you refuse me, please go somewhere with me.”
Looking at the bright eyes of the young man, Lin Chen finally felt some relief.
The municipal hospital was probably the place that Lin Chen really didn’t want to visit again, especially since he just killed a hostage-taker at a hospital. When he saw the whitewashed walls and smelled the scent of disinfectant, he became a little uncomfortable.
Duan Yang took him to the neurology ward on the tenth floor.
Without saying a word, the young man pulled him to sit down on the bench facing the ward. He was forced to look at an old man who was stumbling in the corridor of the opposite ward but insisted on holding onto the handrail as he struggled to move forward.
The old man walked slowly. His uncoordinated limbs showed that he had just experienced a stroke that almost took his life. The left half of the brain was infarcted or hemorrhaged, so his right side was completely useless.
At this moment, Duan Yang said softly, “Consultant Lin, I used to be a resident doctor here. There are a total of 150 beds in the neurology ward of Hongjing Municipal Hospital, which receives over 130,000 outpatients every year. Nearly 5,000 people are hospitalized here, and more than 50% of their hospitalization is due to cerebrovascular diseases. This proportion is more than 1.7 million in the country. When an elderly person lives here, it means that their life is gradually coming to an end. Please look at that grandpa across from you and imagine if, at this time, a new drug appeared on the market that claimed to gradually stimulate the repairs of neurons in his brain so that he could move normally as before he had a stroke. Do you think this drug is of epochal significance?”
Lin Chen was a little shocked. “This is impossible.”
“Why?” Duan Yang asked rhetorically.
“So far, scientific research has concluded that brain neurons will not continue to grow and cannot repair themselves, unlike skin, after minor damage. Moreover, cutting-edge technology in nerve repair research is now focused on neural stem cell transplantation. I doubt any drugs can achieve this effect.”
Duan Yang was a little surprised. “Consultant Lin, you have knowledge in this field?”
“Psychology is an interdisciplinary subject. Although I do not specialize in cognitive neuroscience, I have read a few books for my exams.”
Duan Yang said softly, “I also find it incredible that this new drug breaks through the traditional neurotropic drugs such as ganglioside1 and cytidine disodium triphosphate2 and directly claims that it can stimulate neuron repair. If such a drug appears, many elderly people will risk losing everything for this new drug.”
1Drug used in many countries and is thought of as a promising alternative treatment for preventing several neurological diseases, including cerebral ischemic injury. However, clinical efficacy in patients with ischemic strokes is still uncertain.
2Drug believed to be able to rectify membrane damage and provide benefit in CNS disorders and injury (including strokes). Clinical trials so far have shown inconclusive evidence of whether it’s effective for stroke patients.
“Wait, didn’t you say that your teacher discovered this drug?” Lin Chen couldn’t help asking. Although he hadn’t been to the Dana Region, he could slightly guess the research conditions there. It would be an incredible thing in and of itself if someone managed to discover this epochal new drug there.
“Actually… This is the problem. The drug discovered by my teacher doesn’t have the effects claimed by Zhourui Pharmaceutical. It’s more similar to ganglioside, but it’s more effective than similar drugs.”
“Then why do you think that Zhourui Pharmaceutical stole your teacher’s research results? Maybe they are two different types of things?”
“I’ve seen the chemical formula of Zhourui Pharmaceutical’s drug. It’s almost the same as the one my teacher discovered.”
“That is to say, there’s still a difference?”
Duan Yang nodded. “The problem isn’t the difference. It’s not that they may have copied my teacher’s research result, but that my teacher said this kind of drug has serious side effects. In fact, he was in the process of studying common diseases in the Dana Region when he discovered this drug by accident.”
Lin Chen felt a terrifying feeling approaching. “You mean, if Zhourui Pharmaceutical forcibly promotes this drug on the market, it may lead to large-scale adverse drug reactions?”
“Yes, it’s possible.” Duan Yang leaned on the bench a little dejectedly. He scratched his hair in irritation. “Even large-scale adverse drug reactions are only a possibility. There could be subtle changes in the molecular formula of such a drug that can cause adverse reactions. What’s more, I have no way to prove that the new drug developed by Zhourui Pharmaceutical did steal my teacher’s research results. Their related papers were published earlier than those of my teacher. Professor Tan Kang, who presided over the development of this new drug, has a much higher academic status in the industry than my teacher. If it weren’t for the anonymous letter I sent to Director Li, which was followed by a murder attempt on her, I wouldn’t have found there might really be a dark inside story to all this.”
Lin Chen listened carefully to the young man’s narration. He listened to his confusion and struggle and looked at the old man who was struggling to walk while holding onto the railing and asked, “Tell me first, what are the so-called side effects?”
“Long-term use can cause cognitive impairment and emotional problems.”
“Zhourui’s new drug has entered the approval process, indicating that they have passed Phase III of clinical trials. Not to mention early animal trials, didn’t they find this side effect?”
“Which is why I suspect the results of their clinical trials were falsified,” Duan Yang said solemnly.
Lin Chen fell into deep thought.
Now the problem had changed from pure scientific research plagiarism to the falsification of experimental results. If the former was still a moral issue, the latter involved the safety of patients. If Duan Yang’s suspicions were true, it would be a major public safety issue. But the problem was that the young man sitting next to him was questioning the research results of an academic giant and a famous pharmaceutical company. This in itself was a fantasy. If researchers in related fields could hear what was being said, they would probably get up and point at the young man’s nose and ask, “What qualification do you have to question this?”
At this moment, a similar voice sounded behind them.
“Yo, our great scientist is back!”
Lin Chen turned his head and saw a young resident doctor with greasy hair and a pink face walking towards them.
When Duan Yang heard this, he was like a little leopard that was fiercely aroused. He immediately clenched his fists and stared at the man with wide eyes.
However, to Lin Chen’s surprise, after the man taunted Duan Yang, he walked up to him arrogantly and said, “That guy was fired from our department. I suggest you don’t believe what he’s spouting. He has a pretty bad reputation around here.” As the man spoke, he tapped his own head and sneered, “He’s always thinking he knows some big scientific secrets and doesn’t do his job. Always thinking about trying to save the world. Ha ha.”
Lin Chen held down the angry young man who seemed to want to punch the guy and looked at the resident doctor standing in front of him and asked, “What do you mean by brain problems?”
“Of course, it’s a mental illness.”
“No,” Lin Chen said.
“What do you mean no?”k
“I mean that he’s not mentally ill.” Lin Chen stood up and said to the resident doctor in front of him, “As a doctor of neurology, you need to improve your medical literacy a bit.”
“What do you mean?”
Lin Chen turned around, gently pulled Duan Yang up from the bench, and asked him, “Do you understand what I mean?”
Duan Yang nodded.
Lin Chen pointed to Duan Yang and said to the resident doctor with oily hair, “He understands, but you don’t. Who do you think has a problem with their brain between you and him?”
Things like trash-talking must be said and then immediately walked away from, as one must never give the other person any chance to strike back.
After Lin Chen finished speaking, he immediately pulled Duan Yang out of the municipal hospital. It was finally dark. The long street was full of traffic and was brightly lit, but the young man next to him didn’t say a word.
Lin Chen had already read Duan Yang’s resume in advance. It was clear that the young man next to him was expelled due to medical malpractice when he was promoted from resident physician to attending physician last year. Now it seemed there may be another inside story to this.
“Let’s talk. What’s going on?”
“Consultant Lin, thank you just now.”
“That is not an answer to the question,” Lin Chen said coldly.
The young man scratched his head and looked embarrassed. “Zhourui Pharmaceutical has a very good relationship with our hospital. I was careless before and have been posting articles questioning Professor Tan Kang’s experimental results. It seems they found out it was me, so they maliciously retaliated.”
Seeing the young man’s indifferent face, Lin Chen couldn’t speak for a while. In the end, he could only say, “Why were you being stupid and getting so easily discovered?”
“I didn’t know the water here was so deep at first.”
“So why are you pretending to be a reporter to lie to me?”
“Ah?” The young man didn’t expect him to mention this matter again, which made him feel ashamed. “I was fired from the hospital, and now I’m working at a pet hospital. I thought…”
“You thought that your background didn’t have enough strength to speak, and it would be easier for me to believe you if you pretended to be a reporter.”
Duan Yang nodded.
The young man’s eyes were dark and clean.
Lin Chen said to him solemnly, “Status doesn’t mean much. Even if you become a beggar on the street, as long as you have a clear conscience about what you say, you can say it openly. Don’t be afraid.”
The young man suddenly stopped. He rubbed his eyes, turned around, and strode forward.
Lin Chen didn’t know how Duan Yang had been suppressed for more than a year, but when he saw the pet shop where the young man was working, he realized something.
It was a dilapidated two-story building very close to Yanjia Lane.
As soon as he entered the store, he was greeted by cats and dogs that barked in various volumes. There were more than a dozen cages in the small shop, which only made it seem more crowded as a result.
Duan Yang first let out the cats to relax, then hugged a long-haired puppy and led him up to the second floor.
“Actually, I sometimes think being a veterinarian is much easier than working in a hospital. You can charge 300 yuan for neutering, and I can even mark it up by 150. When it comes to spaying female cats and dogs, I can even earn more…”
Lin Chen listened to what the young man was saying casually while observing the structure of the room on the second floor.
“Are you doing drug testing here?” He was surprised.
Duan Yang opened his bedroom door and said, “No, no. I was doing it before but didn’t make any progress, so I just kept it as a pet for fun.”
The young man’s bedroom was the smallest of the three rooms. With a bed and desk taking up most of the space, there was only room for a beanbag. Lin Chen put on indoor slippers and walked into the room. At first glance, he was attracted by the whiteboard on the wall. It was covered almost entirely with dense pharmacological formulas, which made his scalp feel numb.
He subconsciously looked at the desk. Just as his gaze swept past, Duan Yang subconsciously wanted to cover something up. Lin Chen turned his head sideways; he had already noted all the things on the desk clearly. If he read it correctly, what the young man wanted to cover up seemed to be a picture frame on the table.
There were two men in the photo frame. One of them was a little older, and the other was Duan Yang when he was younger. He had his arms around the slightly older man and was smiling brightly.
“Is that your brother or father?” Lin Chen asked casually.
Probably even Duan Yang realized how guilty his actions were just now. After hearing this question, the young man became even more embarrassed.
“It’s my teacher.” The young man blushed as he answered.
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