Dec 19, 2008

India - Govt plans to bring 354 drugs under control list

The government proposes to bring 354 medicines under control list to bring down the prices of essential drugs, Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ramvilas Paswan told the Lok Sabha today.

Replying to supplementaries during the Question Hour, he said the government has asked state-run hospitals to use generic drugs for treatment of patients in a bid to make healthcare more accessible to the poor.

Paswan said the government has launched health insurance scheme for BPL families under which free medicines of up to Rs 35,000 would be made available for treatment.

He said a Group of Ministers (GoM) is deliberating the draft National Pharmaceutical Policy, which has provisions for strengthening of the drug regulatory system and the patent office infrastructure, focus on research and development, human resource development in pharma sciences, rationalisation of excise duty on pharmaceuticals and streamlining system of bulk procurement of drugs by the government.

“The final decision on the issue of pharmaceutical policy can only be taken after the GoM takes a decision in this regard. The finalisation of the policy is therefore delayed,” Paswan said.

Requisite information on clarifications sought by the GoM have already been furnished. The department is constantly making efforts for expediting the decision of the GoM for early finalisation of the pharma policy, he said.

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