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India caves to Big Pharma, gives up power to set affordable prices on non-essential drugs


Big Pharma

(NaturalNews) Not only is the pharmaceutical industry guilty of bringing side-effect wrath to people's lives across the planet, but they are also the very machine that drains people financially in times of sickness. The pharmaceutical drug machine is so cumbersome and expensive that medical systems around the world depend on health insurance to extract money collectively from the population to pay for these drugs. The pharmaceutical industry often influences lawmakers to mandate that people pay into health insurance so the pharmaceutical industry can coerce their drugs onto people.

Health is much simpler than a steady diet of pharmaceutical pills. Health doesn't have to be expensive and dependent on expensive health insurance plans.

However, the pharmaceutical industry would like everyone to believe that they'll need their pills into old age. It's the American way now. In America, the pharmaceutical advertisements are aggressive on television. Doctors are influenced by pharmaceutical marketing representatives who inundate doctors with bought-off science. Medicine has become less about scientific healing and more about marketing. It's a sham.

Government of India caves to pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry is so big, so influential today that they control entire governments. The government of India, which has tried to protect their 1.3 billion population from gouging drug prices, has recently given in to the pharmaceutical industry and let go of their authority to regulate certain drug prices. They recently gave up their power to set affordable prices on non-essential drugs. The pharmaceutical industry applied much of the pressure and is excited about this move, as the Indian government crumbles into their powerful hands. The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) of India has folded and will not be fixing prices of non-essential drugs any longer. Earlier in 2014, they made a stand to keep prices from spiraling out of control, but according to the Drug Prices Control Order of 2013, their authority is no longer the absolute.

According to paragraph 19 of the Drug Prices Control Order, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority is allowed to control prices of non-essential drugs only under extraordinary circumstances that are in the interest of the public. Earlier in 2014, the NPPA interpreted the paragraph to cap prices on 108 drugs, but they have now relinquished that power, allowing pharmaceutical interests to override their protective power.

This comes at a time when more than four-fifths of India's people lack health insurance to cover the costs of their drugs. This is in a country where nearly three-fourths of the population lives on less than two dollars a day. If the average person in India felt that they needed a drug prescription, it's highly unlikely they would be able to afford it. Most of the 1.3 billion populations can't even afford generic drugs. With no price controls, the pharmaceutical industry controls not only their health but also their finances.

The pressure from the pharmaceutical industry was applied after July, when the NPPA put price fixes on 108 non-essential drugs. The pharmaceutical industry took a big hit. Drugmakers like Ranbaxy Laboratories and the local subsidiaries of Sanofi SA, Merck & Co Inc, Pfizer Inc and Abbott Laboratories suffered losses. After seeing how price fixes cut into their profits, the pharmaceutical industry turned up the heat.

Now, this is what one NPPA official has to say, as they back down in the face of the pharmaceutical industry: "The basis to proceed further has been withdrawn. We are not saying anything on the past."

Sources for this article include:

http://in.reuters.com

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