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Free medicines to all, hon'ble Indian initiative
An philanthropic government initiative to provide free medicines to the entire population is a welcome initiative. Be it in a small clinic or in a superspeciality hospital the Indian drugs are to be distributed free of cost, as per a welcome initiative that could take shape in the country shortly. On the other hand the government proposed ban on branded drugs stands to cut Big Pharma out of the windfall. Industry bigwigs who have been claiming that the industry is in doldrums already are sure to suffer more. As per an estimate, on an average public was spending approximately Rs 225 per person last year and this would be totally avoided. `The novel scheme will benefit us more. As we need more medicines to be healthy' says retired Vijayamma.
As per sources the plan resolution was taken last year but was kept under the wraps due to bad financial weather. However the government is firm to go ahead with this scheme. Critics feel that though this would benefit the public much. `How sincerely the entire sets of drugs serve the purposes will there be any backdoor diversions' was the question posed by Alexanderia, a software employee. As per sources under the plan doctors will be limited to a generics-only drug list and face punishment for prescribing branded medicines.
This is truly genuine, admitted the software employee. But what the pharma industry feels is different. As such the move is sure to be a major disadvantage for pharmaceutical giants in one of the world's fastest-growing drug markets.
"Without a doubt, it is a considerable blow to an already beleaguered industry, recently the subject of several disadvantageous decisions in India," said KPMG partner Chris Stirling, who is European head of Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals.
Within five years, up to half of India's 1.2 billion people are likely to take advantage of the scheme, the government says. "The policy of the government is to promote greater and rational use of generic medicines that are of standard quality," said LC Goyal, additional secretary at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and a key proponent of the policy. Where medication is a luxury this noble initiative from the government is sure to get it back on the saddle in 2014...(With inputs from internet- AW AarKay)
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