Saturday, February 20, 2016

constraints faced by Indians regarding the medicine sector

The constraints faced by Indians regarding the medicine sector can be seen under the following heads –
1. Accessibility – 
(i) TN Model of Jan Aushadi Scheme has not been replicated in other parts of the country
(ii) Low health insurance coverage and leaving out certain widely used drugs(e.g. fot TB, diabetes etc.) out of price-ceiling regime
2. Affordability – 
(i) Calculation of drug prices is based on average of market-prices and not on cost-prices which has resulted in pharma companies fixing prices many times over production cost
(ii) While fixing price-ceilings, regional variability to accessibility to drugs was not factored in
3. Availability – 
(i) Issues of IPR, compulsory-licencing and export to developing countries has discouraged foreign investment
(ii) Low domestic research into drug-manufacturing due to shortage of funds, infrastructure in labs etc.
However, these constraints have also resulted in some positive development such as – 
1. A National Intellectual Property Policy is being drafted to ensure better IPR protection and improve foreign investments
2. 100% FDI in medical devices sector has been permitted which is expected to help in medicine-manufacturing
3. Impetus to traditional medicinal knowledge under the newly-formed Ministry of Ayush
4. Awareness campaigns under schemes like AMRIT etc.
Hence, we see that although there are constraints to easy drug-access, the government has been taking proactive measures to address the issue.

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