Fair price medical shops should be expanded to provide low cost medicines to the poor – EDITORIAL – EDITORIAL

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The government has a responsibility to protect the life and health of the population. The high cost of drugs to maintain good health becomes a huge burden for the common man and the poor. The central government has allowed pharmaceutical companies to raise prices by 10.8% on more than 800 drugs, including life-saving drugs. Manufacturers are preparing to implement the price hike on April 1. With the rising cost of drugs, from paracetamol to surgical equipment, health care for the general public will be a major challenge. Many factors have contributed to the price increase, including rising pharmaceutical ingredient prices. The commission they give for the sale of drugs shows that their argument is not valid. The commission is not only for the medical store owners but also for the doctors who prescribe. Although it is mandatory to prescribe generic drugs in public hospitals, this is generally not followed. Brand name medications will be prescribed.

The manufacture and sale of drugs is a huge business in the country. With the influx of foreign investment in the pharmaceutical sector, India is one of the most profitable grounds for all monopolistic pharmaceutical companies in the world.

The central and state governments are taking various measures that are making the daily life of the people difficult. At a time when governments are slowly withdrawing even from the public health sector, rising drug prices are affecting the middle and lower classes. There are millions of regular drug users, including those who suffer from lifestyle-related illnesses. India is said to be the diabetes capital of the world. In addition to diabetes, many other conditions, such as heart disease, kidney disease, and neurological disease, require lifelong medication. Medicines for this are already expensive. In addition to drugs, the rising cost of surgical equipment is likely to affect the poor.

The government can help the public by opening more Jana Aushadhi Kendras and strengthening government facilities like Karunya. Drugs are sold at Karunya and Janaseva Kendras with discounts of 15-30%. Such people-beneficial systems should be introduced throughout the country. Drugs worth more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore are sold in the country every year. One can only guess how high corporate profits will be even if there is a ten percent increase in prices. At a time when the prices of all raw materials, including fuels, are on the rise, the practice of substantially increasing the prices of medicines is extremely cruel. Governments must think about how to save ordinary people from the impact of this and must take the necessary measures.

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