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Posted at: Jan 11, 2018, 12:39 AM; last updated: Jan 11, 2018, 12:39 AM (IST)

Pharma industry urged to ensure affordability of medicines to poor

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 10

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Satyendar Jain exhorted the pharmaceutical industry to ensure accessibility, availability and affordability of medicines to the poor and needy.

He said this inaugurating a workshop on “Accessibility, Availability and Affordability of Pharmaceutical Products”, organised by the Drugs Control Department in association with and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) here today.

Expressing his concern over the high prices of the medicines, Jain said the maximum retail price (MRP) of all the medicines should not be fixed more than half times of the cost. He said it is observed that sometimes pharmaceutical companies charged from 900 per cent to 2000 per cent profit.

Jain announced that the Delhi Government is soon going to pass an order making it mandatory to all the government hospitals and doctors to prescribe only National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) medicines to patients.

He said the government should ensure that all types of medicines are provided free of cost to all weather rich or poor. It is difficult to differentiate between poor and rich people while providing medicines to them. How government can deny free medicines to rich, while they are paying tax to the government and medicines are procured in the hospitals by the money of taxpayers.

The government has extended facility of 212 types of diagnostic tests to the people in mohalla clinics. In the same way in all government hospitals free medicines and free tests should be ensured to all. He also stressed upon the need for proper utilisation services of doctors, resident doctors and nurses as per their mandate of job.

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