public health in India. But this is not the case. Measures like imposing compulsory licences on such medicines are in fact only likely to benefit well-off individuals. The mass of the population will gain from better day to day access to low cost but highly effective treatments that are already freely available.”
The UCL School of Pharmacy report concludes that, without enhanced universal access to essential medicines and other forms of cost effective care, health improvement and social transition in poorer parts of India may stall. Given the size and importance of the Indian population this could in future have harmful global impacts.
Report co-author Dr Jennifer Gill said, “There are no easy answers as to how the world community can ensure that poor people everywhere get good access to essential medicines without over-supplying products like antibiotics or undermining provisions like patents that are needed to promote ongoing investment in medical and pharmaceutical innovation. We need strengthened mutual understanding to achieve better care in poorer areas and to sustain investment in innovative research, without which global progress cannot continue”
‘Health and Health Care in India’ highlights the potential value of solutions such as internationally agreed tiered or differential pricing arrangements. These should allow public healthcare providers in low income countries to obtain essential patented medicines at affordable costs from the producers responsible for their development.
EP News Bureau