Drugs for the ailing Public

Drug prices are in the increase. Life saving drugs, essential drugs and sometimes even common drugs are in continued short supply in the market resulting hardships to the patients. The drug industry should not be treated as trade but as social obligation. Any drug produced should be cheap, easily available, have maximum therapeutic efficiency, with minimal side effects, of good quality, and must be reaching the suffering humanity without interruption.  It is really a sad state of affairs that even after so many years of independence and after the public sector came into the field and indigenous entrepreneur’s participation, things have not changed.  The state had entered into the drug trade in a big way.  It enjoyed the monopoly and the manufacturers blame the State trading corporation, for supplying raw materials at high rates, which automatically raises the price of the finished products. Market is flooded with spurious drugs and substandard drugs which are affecting the health and life of the people.  Whatever drugs are available cater to the needs of 40% of the people, that too in urban areas.  The pharmaceutical industry hardly pay any attention, to the manufacture or research of the drugs needed  for very important diseases which are rampant in the country; instead most of their attention is limited to tonics , vitamins and similar formulations and most dost drugs are neither preventive nor curative. .The W.H.O. once, is of the view that not more than 200 basic drugs are needed in the developing countries where as the formulation is estimated to have gone beyond 60,000.  Stoppage of such duplications will help in increasing the availability of drugs. Taxes on drugs should be abolished.  Taxing drugs is taxing sick people. Encouragements should be given for research work and dev elopement of indigenous drugs and chemicals. The drug control order should be strictly enforced. Misuse of drugs by persons of other systems of medicines, quacks and by druggists be curbed in order to ensure full supply of drugs. Now is the time for IMA at local, State and Central levels to act and represent the matter to the Government and do something to the profession, and the ailing public instead of passing resolutions.
Dr.M.Suryanarayanan.