At the outset I wish to congratulate ‘The Hitavada' in an endeavor to 'remove garbage' from healthcare industry. Nagpur is turning a drug center with the best of medical infrastructure and allied facilities both in public and private. Pricing in pharmaceuticals is a very fancy phenomenon and never depends on cost of production. Prices are not only determined by drug companies’ promotional expenses and market forces but also governed by official government agencies like DPCO (Drug Price Control Order), NPPA (National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) and others. At times manufacturers sell medicine below the cost of production and can claim the rebate from drug price equalization account. We must thank drug companies for their social commitments also. Cipla has offered to supply the anti-HIV drug free of cost to NACO (National Aids Control Organization) for 2 years. Glaxo and others are helping asthmatics to breathe the natural way. HMR has launched social awareness campaign to increase awareness of Rabies.
Pharmaceuticals may have justification for pricing and the list of factors may include raw material, source, manufacturing process, reach to markets, promotional expenses, discounts to trade etc. But generics (one who sell without brand name) selling more than the cost of branded one is an eye opener. Rational use of drug is based on rule of right, the right drug given to the right patient at the right time, with the right dosage and in our context at right price too. Unscrupulous manufacturers push products to the market in order to get maximum return on their investments; while big players can take the advantage of price differences across the country and globe. Irrational use of drug and inappropriate prescription is big problem.
Hence Pharmacovigilance is need of the health. Functions of pharmacovigilance are
* Improvement of drug safety standards involving health care professionals.
* Monitoring adverse drug reactions.
* Regular analysis of available data.
* Check on malpractices at manufacturers, distribution, prescription and patient’s level too.
Pharmacovigilance should have, mandatory network throughout the country, although the task is mammoth. In Canada health is free for all, in India let us pledge for 'Affordable health for all'.