Understanding the Drug Ban: Rights Steps but the Wrong method

Newsclick Production

A government’s role especially in investing in public health should be a non-negotiable in a democracy.  In the absence of the government playing such a role, in failing to invest in public health, private pharmaceutical companies try exploit the public and their money. This happens largely because of the absence of governmental interventions that allow uncontrollable play to  private players.
The recent government ban on 344 fixed dose combination drugs and the court’s order later to stay the ban is a good example of this. Fixed-dose combination drugs are those combining two or more active drugs in a fixed ratio into a single dosage, prescribed for particular diseases. The ban list includes Vicks Action 500, Corex cough syrup and other popular medicines which have been in the market for long time. 

Dr. Amit Sengupta discussed this with Prabir Purkayastha in this video interview by Newsclick.

The government should have a clear policy to control fixed dose combination drugs, rather than banning selective ones, said Dr Sengupta. Although many of these medicines should not be prescribed for routine prescriptions for cough, they are irrationally and widely used in India. Dr Sengupta explains how leading global pharmaceutical companies have major stakes even in the cough syrup business in India. The complete absence of control of prices and a profit oriented approach dictated largely by big pharmaceutical companies and medical practitioners has made the situation worse. Public health must be treated as the responsibility of the government, requiring an increase in expenditure, he emphasised.


Courtesy: Newsclick



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