Making medicines affordable – need of the hour!

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Drug price regulation is a requirement for medications on the national list of essential medicines, although there are alternatives to ease this procedure. The issue of accessibility can arise when a medicine is no longer produced. It is important to boost the public sector organizations that produce medicines, vaccines, and medical equipment. “Global efforts are required to address the issue of the high cost of medications to find long-term solutions,” Samir Malhotra stated.

Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) held a seminar on “Affordable Drugs for All” in Ludhiana on Saturday in response to the pressing need to control drug prices so that they are affordable to people. According to IDPD, 67% of all healthcare spending is currently made up of drug costs.

“This increases the burden on the populace because the private sector provides for over 75% of healthcare in our nation,” said Samir Malhotra, director of the Pharmacology Department at PGI-MER in Chandigarh. Quality healthcare is still a distant dream for most people, despite the recent national health accounts estimate report released a few days ago showing a decline in out-of-pocket healthcare spending. Huge earnings in the pharmaceutical sector need to be scrutinized.

He continued, “We have seen how the vaccine manufacturing industry has made enormous profits at the expense of human lives. The stark disparity in vaccine distribution between rich and impoverished nations is a serious problem. A policy change is required at the federal level. Poorer nations should use the compulsory licensing clause in the WTO agreements to facilitating affordable domestic drug development. The world’s top producer of generic medications is India. Even then, the cost of generic medications has been on the rise.

The Committee on High Trade Margins in the Sale of Drugs’ recommendations, which submitted a report on September 16, 2015, should be put into practice to ensure affordable drug costs. Despite the fact that medicines on the national list of essential medicines are subject to drug price restrictions, there are ways to circumvent this regulation. The issue of accessibility can arise when a medicine is no longer produced. The public sector facilities that produce pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and medical equipment should be improved. According to Malhotra, worldwide efforts are required to address the issue of high medicine prices to find long-term solutions.

Former president of the Punjab Medical Council G S Grewal stated that a drug’s price should be determined based on the cost of manufacture and display the purchase price and MRP on the drug’s packaging to reveal the profit margin.

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