India and universal healthcare : public engagement needed

Too thin to spot : There's scant public discussion on India's plan for universal healthcare

Two articles I read recently brought home, once more, the absolute lack of a cohesive national debate on “healthcare for all Indians” which is currently a hot topic in New Delhi. Continue reading “India and universal healthcare : public engagement needed”

India’s compulsory licence to Natco : follow-up thoughts

A good starting point to take the healthcare agenda forward

In granting a compulsory licence to Natco on Bayer’s cancer drug Nexavar the patents office has done its job well. It has put a provision in the law meant expressly to balance public good with incentives for innovation to its right use. See Shamnad Basheer’s lucid analysis of the order on spicyip.

But it is important that this not be the predominant or only method deployed by the government to improve drug access and affordability to millions of Indians. Given its visibility, there is a danger of the patents and CL debate hijacking or at the very least taking up prime space in the discussions around  the country’s healthcare agenda at the cost of other, less high-profile, measures that could be equally effective. Continue reading “India’s compulsory licence to Natco : follow-up thoughts”