August 19, 2017
EMAIL TO THE EDITOR
The National Pharmaceutical Policy draft aims to restrict trade-margins on generic medicines apart from several other new features. The existing policy allowed abnormally high printed Maximum-Retail-Price (MRP) on generic-medicines which goes even up to 400 per cent trade margins above their respective ex-factory prices. The new policy also incorporating e-prescriptions with medicine-names being picked from a drop-down menu will also result in lowering of prices of branded famous medicines where same salt is marketed by different companies in varying prices.
Metric-system of packaging in medicines in true spirit should be introduced by making it compulsory to pack medicines in units of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 or 500 unless exemption is sought for some dose-wise administration. Many drug-manufacturers pack commonly used cough-lozenges in strips of eight instead of normal ten because consumers judge price per strip rather than a lozenge. Only recently medicines like Amaryl-1, ‘Telma-40’ and ‘Glyzid-M’ are being initially marketed in strips of 15 tablets instead of the earlier 10. The idea behind such a move is to over-sale medicines because chemists usually sell medicines in full strips only, and unused tablets/capsules in part-strip are total waste for consumers. The Union Government should ensure that imported medicines like Janumet which are available in strips like of 15 tablets may be especially packed for Indian market in strips of 10. The Planning-Commission recommendation to shift National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority from the Union Ministry of Chemicals to the Health Ministry should be accepted.
Many-a-times the name of a medicine is printed only once on a complete strip of tablets/ capsules, thereby causing great confusion. It is difficult to recognise medicine in balance of the strip having no name of the medicine. Authorities should make it compulsory to print name of the medicine on complete strip over every tablet/capsule. Moreover it should also be compulsory to print/emboss name of the medicine individually on each tablet/capsule.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
(Guinness Record Holder & RTI Consultant)
Disclaimer: The views expressed above are the author’s own.