Central and state governments are bulk buyers of medicines to be used in their hospitals and dispensaries. Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IDPL) was a government-owned premium drug-manufacturing company in yesteryears which was known for providing quality medicines at cost much below that the famous branded medicines. For example, Calmod was its own brand-name for sleeping pill with salt diazepam (5 mgs) as a cheaper substitute sold at a fractional cost of popular branded medicines sold under tradename Calmpose and Valium-5.
With generic medicines being sold at exorbitant profit-margins up to with maximum-retail-price (MRP) printed at even 400 per cent of than that available at wholesale drug market in Bhagirath Palace (Delhi), there is every likelihood of a big bribe margin in their supply to government hospitals; central government should revive IDPL in a much larger scale than before. Rather Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic medicines should also be produced by IDPL for providing users reliable and cheaper products where now-a-days, marketers of honey are advertising extensively for blaming their competitors in selling adulterated and over-priced honey.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)