ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Economic Impact of Technology Interventions--Streptokinase

More than 20 lakh patients of ischaemic heart disease-led myocardial infarction can benefit from a life-saving clot-buster drug in India. At the turn of the century, its availability in India was poor and no domestic production existed until the first Council of Scientific and Industrial Research licensee began production in 2001-02. Its price was less than half that of the drug made by a multinational company, the major supplier in the market at that time. Its supply increased to 1,20,000 doses in 2011 after other producers entered the market. Prices dropped by more than 50%. The economic impact of streptokinase technologies, or the value that would be lost if the licensee's streptokinase did not exist, is about `580 crore for the patients.

Pulses, Udta Punjab and Nutrition

It is a well-established fact that India has been short of domestic supply of pulses. Somewhat less known fact is that Punjab has been overusing groundwater and applying excessive urea, and on top of that the drug problem has worsened in Punjab as depicted in the Udta Punjab movie.

Natco-Bayer Verdict

Bayer has lost its case challenging the grant of India's first-ever compulsory licence to Natco Pharma to manufacture an affordable generic version of an anti-cancer drug, but the celebratory air has to be tempered. The issue of what constitutes "local working" of a patent in India remains, in general, unsettled. This article looks at the legality of local working requirements under the Agreement on Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. It also analyses the interpretations of "working" by the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, and the Bombay High Court, and considers their broader implications.

Seeing Like an Indian Generic Pharmaceutical Company

After 2010, two Indian generic companies started local plants in South Africa, attempted to partake in the morally loaded politics of antiretroviral therapy, and complied with broader affirmative action policies there. This article analyses a variety of sources and tries to lay bare the nexus between drug manufacturers, the state, and civil society organisations and tries to contextualise them in the anthropological theories of public health and humanitarian aid.

Cleaning Up the Pharma Industry

For over 30 years pharmaceutical companies have been selling fixed-dose combination drugs with scant need to justify their efficacy, safety or rationality for use. The Government of India has finally banned 344 such drugs, though pharma companies have been able to obtain interim judicial stay orders. It is hoped that the courts take into account the serious public health implications of the sale of certain drugs and allow regulatory intervention banning uncertified combination drugs, including codeine-based cough syrups and various cold and flu drugs.

No Method in the Madness

The imposition of customs duties on 76 life-saving drugs is arbitrary and senseless.

Regulation of Doctors and Private Hospitals in India

The issue of regulation of doctors and private hospitals is one that is increasingly becoming important for the citizen. The attempts by professional medical associations to scuttle the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act of 2010 is the context for this essay on the issues that afflict the provision of private healthcare. After a critical discussion of all the major issues, the essay outlines what needs to be done to prevent and address the malpractices and abuses that are widely prevalent in the country.

Role of Private Sector in Medical Education and Human Resource Development for Health in India

This paper examines the growth and regional spread of medical education in India, particularly in the private sector. An important feature of the considerable growth of medical education, especially after the 1990s, has been the setting up of numerous private medical colleges in the country. Interestingly, this growth has occurred primarily in the more developed states with better health outcomes, while the low-income states with poor health indicators have lagged behind. This unequal distribution of medical colleges has had an impact on the availability of medical services and has resulted in regional differences in access to doctors in the country.

NSSO 71st Round Data on Health and Beyond

The overarching policy question in private expenditure on health that we should all be addressing is, “What must the government do to reduce the debilitating (financial) effects of out-of-pocket healthcare expenditure of people?” A response to a comment (EPW, 21 November 2015) on the authors’ earlier piece (EPW, 15 August 2015).

Promoting Private Healthcare

The Rajasthan government’s Bhama­shah Health Insurance Scheme claims to benefit over 1.10 crore families encompassing around 4.65 crore people in the state through a smart card-based cashless health cover.

Competition to Sell Medicines

The battle between chemists and online pharmacies must be decisively resolved.

Privatising Healthcare in Rajasthan

The Rajasthan government has planned to hand over its public health centres to private operators through a process of bidding. However this will have a debilitating effect on the inadequate and under-resourced public healthcare system in the state. 

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