Drug Pricing Control Regime Short-Sighted

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Up in arms against the central government’s drug pricing control regime, the Indian pharma industry feels it is a short-sighted move that will stifle innovation in the country. Instead of slashing prices of drugs, the government must focus on holistic development of the healthcare sector, pharma honchos said here on Tuesday.

“If the healthcare system is not set, the whole focus goes towards pricing and that is what is happening in India today. if you see the prices of any of the products, they are the lowest (in India).. if we talk of further lowering the cost, then I think we are in for a problem,” Dr Reddy’s Laboratories chairman Satish Reddy said while speaking at the BioAsia 2017 CEO Conclave. The DRL chief said that the government must try to work towards improving the standard of overall healthcare in the country by improving infrastructure and skill sets. He pointed out that the healthcare spend in India is one of the lowest and that needs to change.

Echoing a similar sentiment, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals chairman and MD Glenn Saldanha said, “If the government only looks at the price element, there will be no money left for innovation.” He pointed out that innovation in pharma industry is an expensive affair and the challenge is that industry is generally “capital starved”. While acknowledging that innovation is crucial, Telangana IT, industries, MA & UD, NRI affairs minister K T Rama Rao said that the government needs to do a “balancing act” by ensuring that masses have access to life saving drugs and at the same time industries too are not hit.

Source: Times of India (link opens in a new window)

Health Care