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

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Cost-effectiveness Threshold and Health Opportunity Cost

With the setting up of the health technology assessment board, evidence from cost-effectiveness analysis will play an important role in decision-making. This raises the fundamental question: How much extra cost per unit of health gained is considered cost-effective? Various approaches for assessing the appropriate cost-effectiveness threshold for India are discussed. A robustly determined opportunity cost of healthcare spending should serve as a proxy for setting up a CET, and it should be used to advocate for greater resources towards achieving universal health coverage.

Thrombolytic Treatment for Myocardial Infarction

All authors were formerly at Council of Scientific and Industrial Research HQ, New Delhi. This study looks at the available life-saving treatments for heart attacks and ischaemic heart diseases administered in India, focusing on streptokinase and finding that it is the life-saving clot-buster for the majority of patients. This brings to light that the surgical intervention of angioplasty is more of an income-biased treatment. Public-funded research and development of indigenous streptokinase has directly enabled access to treatment, especially for economically challenged patients.

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.

Competition to Sell Medicines

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

Balancing Affordability and Availability in a Drug Patent Regime

India needs to find an optimal patenting regime that will safeguard incentives for innovation while simultaneously ensuring that medicines are available at reasonable prices.

Ebola Virus Disease

The Ebola virus disease, which spread in four West African countries, brought to light the feeble health governance system not only in these countries but also at the global level. Weak health infrastructure, resource crunch, non-viability of preventive and curative medication, and distrust of foreign interventions among people not only aggravated the crisis but also led to a schizophrenic portrayal of the disease across the world. A lack of any preventive medication for Ebola--despite a history of recurrence over the last four decades--is a big question confronting health research communities, pharmaceutical companies and global health governing agencies. The recent outbreak of Ebola and a global security threat perception associated with the disease have given rise to many debates, one of them being the debate on medical ethics in a public health emergency. All the ethical issues related with the unavailability of medication, launch of untested medicine in affected areas and also the delay in decision-making and response are the core arguments which this article tries to analyse.

Fair Price Medicine Shops in West Bengal

The 24x7 Fair Price Medicine Shops in the public hospitals of West Bengal have visibly reduced the average price of critical medicine and appliances. Their services should now be extended beyond hospitals so that they reach out to a larger share of patients.

Mala Fide Decision on Drug Prices

The decision to reduce the powers of the drug pricing body goes against the interest of public health.

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.
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