The Indian Express edit page today carries a column I wrote on fixed dose combinations (FDCs) post the Lancet article. For the record, the Lancet shone the light on a plethora of FDCs of the diabetes drug metformin with others that, they believe, have no rationale to be on the market. I have used the FDCs issue as a springboard to comment on the larger state of drug regulation and call for its rehaul.
The Express is usually prompt in publishing my opinion pieces. This one, for some reason, they carried after several weeks of me having filed it. So those of you who are wondering why I chose to react to the Lancet article now, wonder no more.
If it sounds as if this piece of commentary would hold true in any year that is because, unfortunately for the Indian patient, some health issues never go out of fashion. Read on. The headline is a bit too dramatic for my taste but if that’s what it takes to grab eyeballs then so be it. I want to add here that I hope someone in New Delhi with the power to effect change is reading these pieces I do for the Express because they sure as hell aren’t reading my blog.
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 have used the Campaign for Affordable Trastuzumab to illustrate my point. For the article click here.
Today’s edition of the Indian Express has an edit piece that I have authored on why the government should stop repeatedly tinkering with India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) policy for pharmaceuticals.
In this piece I have argued that there is no connection between the availability of essential medicines and the FDI policy and that this repeated hullabaloo around foreign investment is taking away the focus from those factors that do, in fact, have an impact on essential medicines. Not to mention the blatant double standards that it displays towards foreign-owned companies. You can read the column here. Continue reading
Today’s edit page of The Indian Express has my column on the Indian drugs regulator’s decision to ban pioglitazone, an anti-diabetes drug reportedly taken by 30 lakh patients. I have argued that India is paying for its historically casual attitude to pharmacovigilance or tracking drug safety. Continue reading