Tinderbox : How a meningitis vaccine tender singed GSK, Sanofi in India #UHC

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) recently slapped a Rs 63.5 crore fine collectively on GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur for attempting to collude to share a Union Ministry of Health tender for a meningitis vaccine and inflate prices. Indian health authorities have been immunising Indians performing Hajj, or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, … Continue reading Tinderbox : How a meningitis vaccine tender singed GSK, Sanofi in India #UHC

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Guest column : Doctor ‘scarcity’ a crisis of numbers or leadership? #UHC

A recent article in the Indian Express reported statistics from India's National Health Mission to highlight what it called "a debilitating shortage" of health specialists in the country. In doing so, it only reaffirmed what several experts, committees, and policy wonks have said all along: India needs more doctors. For the longest time, India's healthcare … Continue reading Guest column : Doctor ‘scarcity’ a crisis of numbers or leadership? #UHC

Unassuming billionaire : I profile Dilip Shanghvi for Outlook magazine

The media, it appears, cannot have enough of Dilip Shanghvi, the 60-year old founder and controlling stakeholder of Sun Pharmaceutical Industries. That's not surprising if you consider that on March 4 he overtook Mukesh Ambani, the second-generation oil-to-telecoms tycoon and arguably India's most influential businessman, to become the richest Indian. Of course, just because Shanghvi … Continue reading Unassuming billionaire : I profile Dilip Shanghvi for Outlook magazine

Thermometers, BP monitors and other vital stuff that India DOES NOT regulate #MedTech #safety

The Indian medical devices sector has lately been in the news for the government's decision to liberate foreign direct investment controls on it. There is also some movement on the regulatory front with a decision to set up government-recognised medical device testing laboratories in the country. Apothecurry's guest columnist Dr Ravindra Ghooi revisits the one … Continue reading Thermometers, BP monitors and other vital stuff that India DOES NOT regulate #MedTech #safety

India and drug #patents : The Ghost of #Glivec haunts #Sovaldi

Apothecurry welcomes back guest columnist Dr Kristina Lybecker. Her latest column is an elegantly simple "where the rubber hits the road" exposition of the recent rejection of patents on US biopharma company Gilead's Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi in India. Coincidentally, Gilead's European patent on Sovaldi was challenged yesterday by charity Medicins du Monde marking yet … Continue reading India and drug #patents : The Ghost of #Glivec haunts #Sovaldi

Will India’s new #FDI policy in #MedTech have the intended effect?

India has decided to liberate foreign direct investment (FDI) in the medical devices sector from the conditions imposed on its pharmaceutical cousins. This begs the question : to what end? To recap, from January 21, FDI in medical devices will qualify for automatic approval of up to 100 per cent. Notably, this is irrespective of … Continue reading Will India’s new #FDI policy in #MedTech have the intended effect?

Bilaspur, Chikalguda and the dichotomy of Indian public healthcare #indiahealth

India's latest healthcare shame is a shoddily-conducted government sterilisation drive that proved fatal for 13 women in rural Chhattisgarh. The tale that unfolded in Bilaspur has more than its share of dystopic elements : unhygienic surgical instruments, tainted drugs and women reportedly herded like cattle (or lured like prey) onto the operating table, surgeries completed … Continue reading Bilaspur, Chikalguda and the dichotomy of Indian public healthcare #indiahealth

#MedicalDevice pricing in India:”Don’t use a shotgun to kill an ant,”says industry veteran

Late last month, the Maharastra Food & Drug Administration wrote to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to include medical devices in the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO) which gives the NPPA its power to fix drug prices. Since the NPPA has been on overdrive, recently adding 108 drug formulations to the list of 348 … Continue reading #MedicalDevice pricing in India:”Don’t use a shotgun to kill an ant,”says industry veteran

Indian #pharma policy : Missing the wood for the trees

The latest round of price interventions imposed on the drug industry by India's National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has the industry fulminating. Just when it was recovering from being all but snubbed in the Union Budget, it finds that the NPPA has quietly pulled the rug from under its feet leaving it sprawled on the … Continue reading Indian #pharma policy : Missing the wood for the trees

Think deeper about drugs affordability : my column in the Indian Express

My latest column in The Indian Express addresses the question of drug affordability. In this column, I have argued that the new Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), soon to complete a year in existence, while a major preoccupation with mandarins and managers alike in the last few months, is not a panacea for affordability.  I … Continue reading Think deeper about drugs affordability : my column in the Indian Express