India leads in supply of drugs to UN

Friday, August 9, 2013

Even as millions of people remain deprived of affordable healthcare in India, the country has emerged as the biggest supplier of healthcare products to the United Nations.

In 2012, India supplied $558 million worth of vaccines, medicines, nutrition supplements (including vitamin and zinc tablets) and other healthcare products to the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef). India is also the leading supplier of pharmaceutical products to aid organisations like Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). “We get over 80 per cent of our requirement for AIDS medicines from India,” says Leena Menghaney of MSF.

This harsh irony reflects two important factors in the healthcare set-up in country, contend experts. First, India is increasingly being recognised as ‘the pharmaceutical hub of the world’ for manufacturing low-cost, high-quality drugs; and second, despite manufacturing low-cost medicines and supplies, the poor healthcare systems and infrastructure in the country are preventing their effective reach to the larger section of the population.

Source: DNA (link opens in a new window)

Health Care