WHY BLAME KASHMIR, AFTER ALL THESE DRUGS COME FROM OTHER STATES
DRUG DEBATE BY SYED ARSHAD HUSSAIN KASHANI
Kashmiris are in sort of panic owing to the noise about the quality of the drugs we consume. It is projected that whatever we consume here is all spurious or sub standard. With the result it is a chaotic situation for the general public.
Kashmir valley is a huge market for pharmaceutical products and it needs to be attended on various fronts vis-ŗ-vis quality of the drug we consume and of course the huge business potential associated with it.
What is a quality drug? It needs to be determined to identify the spurious or sub standard drug. Here the notion is that a drug from a reputable company or with a established brand equity is a quality drug, that is the only standard available here to validate a drug. We usually start a debate on the drug quality here and then it ends here only. However, in reality there is a different line of evaluation. All the reputed brands can not necessarily claim that they are quality brands when incidence in the past has proven that it is not fool proof and at times good number of these products have been taken back from the market on the quality issues. Second, all the new brands of the new pharmaceutical companies are not necessarily sub-standard. A standard drug means that the drug mentioned is absolutely the same in the given quantity as per the standard norm and that it is processed under the required guidelines. That is why the main thrust is to be applied at the place of manufacturing as it is by doing that that we can evaluate whether the a particular company abides by the prescribed requirements vis-ŗ-vis quality and processing irrespective of the name and fame of the brand or the company.
When the Drug Controller General of India allows a particular company to manufacture and market the products, it can be sold anywhere in the country, be it Kashmir or Kanyakumari. Since new companies usually have to start somewhere and they do so, they donít have the national presence but usually operate at the regional levels till they expand their market. I donít find any substance in Dr Trehanís remarks that the drugs sold in Kashmir are not available anywhere in the country and that reputed Pharma companies should step in. This statement and subsequent chain of discussion has put a psychological impact on lacs of patients here who are on critical care management. It ii for his information that all these reputed companies are operating here with full strength marketing team and doing business in billions. what are they selling then here? It is among these that sell generic brand of the products; and they sell it at doctorsí prescription at approximately 80% less price in the market and consumers have to pay by the MRP. There is the question for these reputed companies, Is it the quality compromise in generic products or gigantic margins they save form prescribed brands. Basically it is that price gap that explains it all. That is where pricing of these products needs to be addressed. It is the huge gap between the production price and selling price that makes it look suspicious, fishy and all that asks for immediate attention.
Letís not ignore that pharmaceutical trade is a trade where people enter to earn like any other trade. Pricing is the issue that needs to be settled. A capsule of Omeprazole 20 mg that a pharma company is comfortable to sell at 80 paise is sold at aprox 6.00 rupees; this makes one understand the setup.
Actually state needs a comprehensive drug policy and if that is done, we can make the quality drugs available for the public at almost 70% lesser value than we pay. If state has to make a drug policy, it needs a sincere attempt. We can manufacture and market these products at least for our own public at a very low rate with quality ensured. Though no exact data is available, but it looks that valley imports and consumes the drugs to the tune of almost 20,000 crore annually. We can save around 70 % of this amount. All it needs is a sincere effort from the government and cooperation from valley doctors. This dream can be a success and every product will be under watchful eyes vis-ŗ-vis quality of the product. In addition it can produce jobs in thousands. I, along with a battery of pharma marketing persons from valley can assist anyone who intends to change things for better.
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Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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