Wednesday April 25, 2018

Essential medicines to cost less as govt caps prices of new drugs

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New Delhi: Come Diwali, the treatment of diabetes, hypertension and pneumonia will cost less in the country with the Drug price regulator National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capping the prices of as many as 18 new brands of essential medicines.

According to reports, most of these new brands of medicines are expected to be launched in the market within a fortnight.

Fixing the maximum retail price of these medicines at the average of MRP of all medicines available in that particular therapeutic segment with at least 1% market share, the regulator has brought these medicines under price regulation using paragraph 5 of the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013.

Leading pharmaceutical companies like Cipla, Merck, Franco Indian, Alembic Pharma and Unichem etc. will be affected due to the price fixation by the NPPA.

Failing to comply with the prescribed retail price will have consequences for the erring firms.

“The concerned manufacturer/ marketing company shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with the interest thereon under the provisions of the DPCO, 2013”, the NPPA said, adding that “if a company was planning to discontinue manufacture or sale of any of these medicines, then it would have to seek permission from the regulator six months in advance.”

The NPPA further said, “If any medicine was priced lower than the ceiling fixed by the regulator, then companies selling such drugs should maintain the existing or lower retail price.”

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Indian Entrepreneurs Build Mobile Apps To Help Patients With Diabetes

New app to help track diabetes in rural India

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check-up for diabetes
Check-up for Diabetes. Pixabay

Researchers have developed an innovative smartphone app that could enable community health workers track the growing burden of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, especially in the rural areas.

Named “Smart Health”, the app will be used by community health workers called as ASHAs, who will be trained to screen and identify people suffering from diabetes or at high risk of the disease in the rural communities.

The ASHAs will then offer them lifestyle and diet advice, refer them to a doctor for drug treatment, and follow up on their adherence to treatment and control.

Diabetes
Diabetes. Pixabay

“Around 50 million people in India have Type 2 diabetes and that number is growing every year. The app will help people living in rural areas to access timely, affordable and guideline-based healthcare in the community, reduce the risk of developing life-threatening complications and ultimately save lives,” Vivekanand Jha, Professor and Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, said in a statement.

“Digital technology coupled with using the experience and knowledge of local health workers. This is innovation at its best,” he added.

An estimated 25 million people have diabetes in rural India and the number is rising rapidly, the statement said.

The app will expand the role of community health workers with digital technology and help address the growing burden on chronic disease.

It can also serve an example to other countries struggling with the rising cost of providing essential healthcare to their citizens, the researchers said.  IANS

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