Monday, May 21, 2012

Shouldn't life savings drugs be more affordable?

Shouldn't life saving drugs be more affordable?  The question is not just rhetorical. It is powerful enough to bring down governments and entail corporate policy changes. Economies in the West have been struggling to bring down healthcare costs. But to no avail. Their resistance to unbranded generic drugs from India and developing countries is a major hurdle. More than safety, it is the profitability of drug majors that is at stake. Unwilling to compromise on the profits of patented versions, pharma majors have refused to liaison with cheap drug makers. Result being that most patients have been able to ill afford life saving drugs. The debate has now been ranging for some months in India too. The government and corporate have locked horns on the pricing policy of drugs. What is certain is that drug makers cannot afford to lose money on life saving drugs. If nothing they need to be compensated for the losses through better pricing of other drugs. Else, there will be no incentive for conducting new drug research. It is time the government reviews such policies more proactively. The sector deserves at least a fraction of the attention that the government showers on sectors like telecom, we believe.

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