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satyamevjayate on cost of drugs in India

posted May 27, 2012, 12:53 AM by Vishal Singh   [ updated May 27, 2012, 11:02 AM ]
It was great to see a program on healthcare in . I could not see the whole program but saw parts on which I have some observations

 Cost of drugs - It was good to see that the question of ethics was brought in Indian healthcare industry. It is a known fact that doctors prescribe costly drugs when cheap drugs can be given.
People were astonished to hear that cost of drugs with the same medicinal value vary as much as by 1000%.  

The issue is with the solution prescribed - to have state open generic shops. Nothing can be more disastrous than this. We have seem umpteen times how all this money disappears in corruption. But does that mean that  people should not get cheap drugs.  Yes, indeed they should get and there is a much simpler solution which will actually work

 Have doctors write generic name of drugs in prescription by law

This simple act will help to solve the problem. A doctor may complain that he trusts a particular brand. Let him write his preferred brand along with the generic name and leave it to  the individual to decide whether he wants to take a generic or a branded drug.  There could be independent rating agencies which rate the drugs on effectiveness and let that information be available on internet. This will create a genuine competition among pharma companies to lower cost.

I hope people will see that state opening pharma counters will not solve the problem. If you don't believe me then this link Jan Aushadi will show what is happening.