The Janakeeya Oushada Samithi, a coordination of eight unions, has urged the State Government to come out with a Drug Policy that would benefit the whole society and also to set up a price control mechanism on the lines of the National Pharmaceutical Price Control.
Stating that the prices of essential drugs were not controlled and health itself had become a burden for the common man, Samithi chairman M V Jayarajan said that the drug policy of the Centre as well as the state had led to the uncontrolled hike in drug prices. “The drugs are being sold at highly inflated prices,” he said.
He said that the opening up of the drug sector to FDI and the changes in the patent law had led to the exorbitant prices of drugs. Alleging that there was no proper price control mechanism, Jayarajan said that the pharma companies were fixing the price without taking into account the production cost. He alleged that the government was siding with the pharma companies.
The Samithi also noted that the pharma companies in the public sector were on the verge of closure. He alleged that the government was not trying to revive these PSUs. The government was not procuring medicines from the Kerala State Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which is on the verge of closure, Jayarajan Said.
He also charged that the State Government had failed to make available essential medicines in the government hospitals. Pointing out that a lot of substandard drugs are being sold in the state, he said that there was no mechanism for testing the drugs as there were not enough drug testing labs in the state.
Jayarajan also said that the multinational companies were now swallowing the local companies and dictate the the price of drugs in the country. He said that the Samithi would organise a convention on the new Drug Policy here on December 18 to be inaugurated by CPM state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.