IMA calls for quality drugs to be made available to the public at affordable costs

Health Care Comments Off

As it was clearly established through various studies and as reported by the Planning commission’s High Level Expert Group Report (HLEG) report on Universal Health Coverage for India, almost 70% of out of pocket expenses incurred in health care is directly due to the cost of drugs and this is more among the poorest quintile. Therefore, the government should spend more resources in making drugs affordable to the population-at least to the tune of 0.5% of GDP. Government should open more Jan Aushadi stores and establish a drug distribution system catering to both public sector and private sector hospitals

Essential drug list should be revised and published periodically. Drug manufacturing and distribution should be guided by the essential drug list. Very strict laws and penal provisions should be in place to curb irrational combinations and preparations. More drugs should be brought under the price control mechanism. Mechanism of adverse drug reaction monitoring should be made more effective. All companies should market the drugs in generic name.

Government should return to the old system of cost-based drug pricing and should do away with the current system of market-based pricing. This will rationalize the cost of majority of the drugs and will also help to avoid cartel formation.

Govt should ensure the quality of each batch of medicine, and this requires adequate funding to establish more testing labs in the country. Drugs should not be allowed to move to the market before the quality is tested for each batch.

Govt policy should be to facilitate domestic drug manufacturing companies to undertake drug research and innovation, to invent new molecules to preferentially address diseases, which are predominantly prevalent in our country. Just like techno parks, govt should invest and facilitate common facilities for drug research and quality control

Govt should also take steps to open and functionalize the closed down vaccine manufacturing units in the public sector and also sick drug manufacturing units in the public sector.