India to Add More AIDS, TB Drugs to Essential Medicines List

Thursday, April 2, 2015

India is likely to add more HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis drugs to its list of essential medicines that are subject to price caps, people directly involved in the process said, in a move to improve affordability of drugs to treat the deadly diseases.

All the drugs on the government’s HIV/AIDS and TB control programmes are likely to be added in the list, the people said.

India provides a number of key HIV/AIDS and TB medicines for free under the government’s disease control programmes through state-run clinics and distribution centres.

But many patients, particularly those with TB, prefer more expensive private clinics as treatment is widely considered of higher quality. The private sector accounts for about 80 percent of India’s healthcare delivery market.

India has about 2.2 million TB patients, the highest in the world, and an estimated 2.1 million are afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

The additional HIV/AIDS and TB medicines would join a list of nearly 400 essential drugs under price control in India, where more than 70 percent of people live on under $2 a day and health insurance is scarce.

Source: Reuters (link opens in a new window)

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