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Access to Quality Medicines Through Patient Centric Laws

What needs to be understood is that these significant advancements in the area of medical science are giving hopes to millions and ushering an environment of personalized treatments.

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There is a huge rise in the number of students wishing to study medicine abroad.

India’s healthcare industry is vast, and it needs to maintain a fine balance between its own inventions and the inventions taking place globally. Our disease burden is huge, and in no case we are going back to the times when only communicable diseases were our worry. According to WHO, 61% of deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases in our country. This is because of the limited national progress and lagging infrastructure- too many patients and not enough doctors!

What will save us from this epidemic and how will we be able to resolve this lacuna? Only by developing at the national level and taking help from global innovations. These new innovations produced world-wide will help take off the burden of the diseases to a large extent.  In today’s new age of medicine, biopharmaceutical companies are leading in developing innovative treatments through a mechanism that is multifaceted and full of research. Many innovative therapies are in pipeline and are inducing best of the results for scientific opportunities and patient development.

I also feel, a great support system and a conducive eco-system can be created with a partnership between the government, patients’ organisations/groups and the private sector. All the three  complement each other in a strong way.  With such collaborations, we will be able to achieve the targets stated to achieve SDGs. I also feel that the government should come forward and make the IP laws stronger and more stringent to facilitate the inventors and the quality of medicines accessed by patients. The government has already taken a great step by the release of the IP policy but a lot is still undone. A strong IP framework is responsible for prompting creativity and innovation but we have not innovated enough with the policy itself in the interest of patients. China as an economy should inspire us. Chief Chinese pharmaceutical companies are laying maximum focus on building an environment which is backed with outstanding research and development capabilities. The number of applications of local innovative drugs entering clinical trials in China grew from 21 in 2011 to 88 in 2016. 

What needs to be understood is that these significant advancements in the area of medical science are giving hopes to millions and ushering an environment of personalized treatments. Each patient has a genetic type different from the others and path breaking innovations in this sphere are paving a way to change the course of treatments with more successful outcomes. The health of the patients is non-negotiable and new technologies exactly help us in making each patient a priority. We are at a nib of positive disruption with the government’s focus on the healthcare delivery system. Conversations are taking place around rich data collection, successful clinical trials and innovative therapies. Then why should we not make the most from these developments and promote affordable access through innovation.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Prof. Bejon Kumar Misra

Bejon Misra has been in the consumer movement in India for the last 25 years starting from Jamshedpur in 1983 as the founder of the Consumer Guidance Society of Jamshedpur. He is a management graduate with marketing as major from the Banaras Hindu University. He has professional experience for more than 35 years working as an entrepreneur. He is in the Board of several Consumer Organisations and is atpresent the Executive Director of a leading consumer organisation, Voluntary Organisation in Interest of Consumer Education (VOICE) based in New Delhi. He was recently inducted as a member of the newly constituted Food Safety & Standards Authority of India and also in the board of several other organisations like Quality Council of India (QCI), Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), National Accreditation Board of Certification Bodies (NABCB) and others as a consumer representative. He was the Chairman and now the Governing Council Member of the Consumer Coordination Council (CCC), a national coalition of 70 leading consumer organisations of India. He is also active within the Consumers International, which has 250 members in more than 125 countries. He has published several research papers and conducted several studies on Quality of Service as perceived by consumers in the Banking, insurance, healthcare, telecom, electricity and other utility services in India. He has visited more than 30 countries attending various international negotiations and study tours supported by Governments and UN Organisations as a member of the Indian delegation or on behalf of Consumers International. He also conducts skill development workshops on Consumer Dispute Resolutions and Excellence in Customer Care for public and private sector organisations

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