India lacks quality medicines, report says

NEW DELHI: India lacks access to good quality generic medicines for heart problems and non-communicable diseases like diabetes, a report said on Tuesday.

The report, Health and Healthcare in India, was released by the University College London(UCL) School of Pharmacy in the capital.

“India currently spends only a little over one per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on publicly funded healthcare and only about 0.1 per cent of GDP on publicly funded medicine,” said David Taylor, co-author of the report.

“These are very low figures even by the standards of the world’s least developed countries,” added Taylor.

The report also highlights that the harm caused by non-communicable diseases will rise if tobacco consumption does not fall and the use of medicines for hypertension and Type 2 diabetes is not increased.

“There are no easy answers as to how the poor in the world can gain access to essential medicines without over supplying products like antibiotics or undermining provisions like patents. We need strengthened mutual understanding to achieve better care to sustain innovative research,” said Jennifer Gill, co-author of the report.

As per the report, the potential solution to the problem is to allow public healthcare providers in low income countries to obtain essential patented medicines at affordable costs from producers.