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Drug Policy

Drug Policy ARUN BAL's comment (November 15, 1986) neither invalidates my previous observations on the various issues of drug policy nor does it raise any new points not discussed earlier in these columns. The statistical data presented by him either do not depict the full picture or are irrelevant in the Indian eon- text. Let me illustrate.

When Small Is Not Beautiful

When Small Is Not Beautiful K Jayaraman YOUR Editorial comment "Drug Standards- Shocking Neglect" (EPW, August 23) has come none too soon indeed, both for its perception and revelations. Quality in medicine is not something brought about by certain external checks, measures and procedures, going by the name "Quality Control", but comprises an entire manufacturing philosophy permeating the whole gamut of designing, producing, distributing and marketing the products, so as to ensure their absolute potency and efficacy in different parts of the country and the world and under various climatic conditions. In fact, the drugs control law and regulations in India are one of the finest pieces of regulatory legislation existing anywhere in the world, combining in themselves the best features of the legal framework and regulatory mechanism of the more advanced countries. What has been lacking is the will to implement these provisions, despite expert advice afforded from time to time by various committees since the 1940s. The Hathi Committee (1975), for instance, reported thus:

Drug Policy Red Herrings and Real Issues

Drug Policy: Red Herrings and Real Issues K Jayaraman ANANT Phadke has responded (EPW, July 26) to my refutation (EPW, June 21/28) of his earlier comment (EPW, May 10). Finding himself in a tight corner, as it were,, in relation to the facts presented by me

Distortions Inherent in Drug Policy

Distortions Inherent in Drug Policy K Jayaraman ARUN BAL'S comment titled 'Distortions in Drug Policy: Who Is to Be Blamed?' (EPW, June 7) on my comment on Drug Policy issues (EPW, May 3) traverses the familiar ground of one-sided presentation of facts and figures, without analysing the real causes of distortions objectively. His very opening sentence that I have sought "to give the impression that the pharmaceutical industry is the main victim of the 1978 national drug policy" betrays a certain biased approach to the whole problem. One need not, and indeed should not, take a fixed, pre-conceived position of 'pro' or 'anti' industry in any serious discussion of the issues on hand. Any objective appraisal of policy should take into account both the pros and cons and if, in certain areas, the facts go to support the industry, these should not be grudged. It is in this perspective that my present comment should also be viewed.

Drug Policy Playing Down Main Issues

Drug Policy: Playing Down Main Issues K Jayaraman THIS refers to Anant Phadke's comment titled: 'Drug Policy

Drug Policy Reinterpreting Issues

Drug Policy: Reinterpreting Issues K Jayaraman THIS has reference to your editorial on the drug policy (EPW, March 8-15, 1986). Some of the observations made, while not being factually correct,, also appear to give an onesided picture regarding the operation of the drug industry in India, This comment seeks to present the other side, even while trying to clarify the factual position, wherever needed.

Private Foreign Investment-A Comment

January 29, 1977 IN his able analysis of the 'Theories of Direct Private Foreign Investment and August 1976), Sanjaya Lall has sought to provide, in his own words, "a synthesis of recent theories of foreign investment in the manufacturing sector and of explanations of the growth of multinational corporations (MNCs)" His concern, however, appears to be why MNCs seek to invest at all in developing countries rather than why the host governments tend to seek such direct investment from foreign companies, Lall himself says that "no attempt is made in his paper to discuss the effects of MNCs on host countries''. It is thus, at best, an one-sided presentation, and not a "synthesis" of theories of foreign investment. Any such synthesis should present both sides of the picture and also point out what could be the profitable alternatives for the MNCs and the host countries alike. This is what is attempted in this comment so as to import a measure of balance to the admirable, albeit limited, analysis of Lall.

Poverty in India

A Comment K Jayaraman THE crucial part of the excellent study by V M Dandekar and Nilakantha Rath 2 and 9, 1971) is Section VII in which the authors have given their solution to the problem of poverty in India "within the framework of private property". Having ruled out the communist solution of socialising all means of production and thus ensuring a socially equitable distribution of income, the authors have ruled out the other alternative as well, viz, of distributing equitably the means of production themselves: (i) land
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