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Letters to the Editor: 26 February, 2020

letters to the editor, afternoon voice,

NPPA should have a profit-formula uniformly for all drugs

It refers to Madras High Court directing Income Tax Department to submit details of claims made by pharmaceutical-companies towards tax-deduction for gifts made to doctors, names of doctors and penalties paid by these companies for drug-overpricing.

Observations made by the Court made it clear that pharmaceutical-companies overprice drugs where prices of same medicine different multiple times according to popularity of brand-names owned by different pharmaceutical companies. Even World Health Organization (WHO) established that even essential drugs in India with lowest printed Maximum-Retail-Price MRP are exorbitantly priced over manufacturing-cost followed by abnormally high trade-margin between ex-factory price and MRP.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) at regular intervals announcing of capping on profit-margins on some drugs. Instead NPPA should have a profit-formula uniformly for all drugs at a time when even generic medicines considered to be a cheaper version of respective branded medicines have exorbitant trade-margins of several hundred percent. Price-revision of any medicine must be allowed only once in a year say on First January unless approved as special case by NPPA.

Gimmick packaging other than in units of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 gms, mltrs or units must not be allowed unless approved by NPPA for dose-wise administration. Rule should be to emboss or print name of medicine in a manner that name is there on every capsule or tablet thus ruling out possibility of wastage of drug in case name-portion of strip is consumed.

Madhu Agrawal

Right step taken by govt to control Coronavirus 

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus disease has affected more than 15,000 people worldwide. The vast majority of the cases are inside China. The fatal virus seems to have spread to other countries as well. It is good to know that the government of India has taken swift and commendable steps by installing virus detection scanners at airports. In addition to this, the media too has played a crucial role in spreading awareness about this virus and preventive measures that has to be taken.

Jubel D’Cruz

Bhageerathi Amma: An inspiration for all

The latest edition of Prime Minister Narendra Modis‘ Mann ki baat ‘ will always stay etched in the hearts of the people especially for the PM’s mentioning of a  105-year-old centenarian, Bhageerathi Amma who hails from Kerala’s Kollam district who became the oldest equivalency learner.

The Prime Minister narrated the true and really inspiring life story of a woman who in her youth had to  face  a lot of struggles and sadly had to discontinue her studies at a very young age. She had to take a big responsibility – to look after her big family – and in the onus she had to sacrifice her studies. But the ‘student spirit’ in her urged her to study at a later stage. She resumed her education at an advanced age, wrote her level-4 exam and passed the examination conducted by Kerala literacy mission with really good marks, beautifully and brilliantly making the proverb  ‘where there is a will there is a way ‘ come cent percent true. Amma’s confidence, courage, determination and perseverance is truly an inspiration for the whole world.

Modi referring to the centenarians will power rightly commented that if we wish to progress in life and develop ourselves and if we wish to achieve something in life, the first pre-condition for that is the student within us must never die.

People like Bhageerathi Amma, as the PM says are the strength of this country and a great source of inspiration for all of us.

M Pradyu


(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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