Now, An Online Portal To Report Overpricing, Non-Availability Or Refusal Of Medicines
In a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Chemicals 2and Fertilizers, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir has informed the nation that an e-Governance tool to check suspicious pricing & availability of drugs is now live.
Named as Pharma Jan Samadhan (PJS), this will empower all citizens to directly report any unusual pricing or bad business practice prevalent in the pharmaceuticals industry.
Minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said, “NPPA (The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority) has started Pharma Jan Samadhan, which is an online system for receiving and taking action related to non-availability and overcharging with respect to pharmaceuticals”.
PJS is an effective and efficient implementation of the “Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013”, which was formulated to check pharmaceutical companies from indiscriminate pricing of essential and life saving drugs, along with a barrier against hoarding of drugs to push up the prices.
The system provides four modes for the end user:
- Overpricing of Scheduled Medicine, new drug & drug for which price fixed under Para 19
- Non-availability or shortage of any Medicine
- Sale of New Medicine without prior price approval of NPPA
- Refusal of Supply or Sale of Any Medicine
Each of these modes has a different complaint form, which can be filled by the grievant to file respective complaints pertaining to the specific issue.
Hence, with this robust system in place, NPAA has turned from a regulator to a facilitator of medical services. As per the statement issued by the Ministry, Pharma Jan Samadhan has been created to solve some rampant problems persistent in India when it comes to medicines, such as:
- Creating more awareness about the medicines among general public
- Deterrence against black marketing and fake medicines
- Check inflated cost of medicines, even if its available in surplus
- Report any bad business practice implemented by pharmacist and medical practitioners
- To ensure that the three pillars of pharmaceutical industry are protected at any cost: Quality, Availability and Affordability
NPAA has promised that appropriate action would be initiated within 48 hours of the complain receipt.
India is home to a growing pharmaceutical industry, which is ranked as 6th largest in the world. Domestic pharma sales are estimated to touch $27 billion by 2016 and in the year 2013, India exported $15 billion worth of drugs to 115 countries all over the world. There are close to 10,500 manufacturing units which produce medicines and over 3000 pharmaceutical companies which are involved in sales and marketing of drugs.
Still, we hear about cases where essential drugs like that of Swine Flu are not available in the market, thereby shooting it’s price up, and deaths due to non-availability of essential drugs in rural areas. For example, Beclomethasone and salbutamol inhalers, which are essential medicines for Asthma patients is only available in 25% of public health units in Rajasthan, and for states like Bihar and Orissa, the condition is even worse.
We hope that Pharma Jan Samadhan will help to improve the pharmaceutical state of India.