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

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Murky Waters of Medical Practice in India

Pervasive greed in contemporary medical practice does not spare even the poorest of the patients. Medical expenses are now considered one of the major triggers of impoverishment in the country. A rapid influx of advanced technologies in areas ranging from drug discovery to diagnostics has generated a greater reliance on assistive technology by the practitioners of modern, Western medicine transforming patients into cases and physicians into technocrats. This paper is a contribution to the ongoing debate on the quality and standards of medical practice in India. It challenges the argument that markets can bring out the optimum in healthcare and shows how market forces have, in fact, militated against patient interests.

Drug Price Control

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority ( NPPA ) released a new set of price notifications for 50 cardiovascular and diabetes medicines under paragraph 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order ( DPCO ), 2013, on 10 July. The notifications for the 108 formulations (two were subsequently withdrawn)...

Need for a New Drugs Bill

After a legislative logjam (since 2011) with respect to regulating the pharmaceuticals industry, the new government at the centre has the opportunity to introduce the much-needed changes to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The amendment bill, introduced in Parliament on 29 August 2013, aimed to promote rational regulation of safe and effective allopathic drugs. That bill would have been yet another patch on an Act which has already been stretched beyond breaking point. It would have done little to provide a rigorous foundation for putting safety, effectiveness, rationality and need at the heart of the country's drug regulatory system. It is to be hoped that the government will make a complete overhaul of the Act one of its highest priorities.

How Not to Modernise Alternative Medicine Systems

The implications of the Maharashtra government's permission to homeopathic practitioners to prescribe allopathic drugs are manifold. This form of "modernisation" not only threatens the identity of the alternative systems but also hampers their most important characteristic, namely, healing, which has helped most of the medical systems to stand the test of time.
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