Modi government has slashed the price of 390 cancer drugs by 87 percent. The annual saving of cancer patients in the country due to government price control is expected to be around 800 crore rupees. National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the price regulatory organization, which caps the price of essential drugs under National List of Essential Medicines under Schedule I of Drug Price Control Orders (DPCO) has put 1,000 drugs under price control list.
“The trade margin rationalisation for 42 anti-cancer drugs was rolled out as Proof of Concept, stressing on the new paradigm of self-regulation by the industry. The manufacturers of these 42 drugs have been directed not to reduce production volumes of brands under regulation,” said the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, the parent organization of NPPA in a statement. “Price reduction across brands would vary from 86.79% of MRP to 0%,” it added. The move will benefit 22 lakh cancer patients in the country and reduce their pocket expenditure on healthcare.
Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), another scheme launched by Modi government to avail medicines at affordable prices has saved 1,000 crore rupees of the poor people of the country. There are more than 5,000 Janaushadhi Kendras which sell medicines at 50 to 90 percent cheaper rates.
According to the draft of National Health Policy, “Over 63 million people are faced with poverty every year due to healthcare costs alone. It is because there is no financial protection for the vast majority of healthcare needs.” The poor and needy were previously required to sell their assets like jewellery in order to get quality healthcare, or ended up borrowing money from sahukars who levy heavy interests. The share of non-regular expenditure on healthcare as a proportion of total household monthly per capita expenditure is 6.9 percent in rural areas and 5.5 percent in urban areas. Hence, the Janaushadhi outlets under PMBJP scheme are set to bridge the gap as far as medical facilities in the urban and rural areas are concerned.
Modi government launched Ayushman Bharat scheme on September 23, from Jharkhand. Under the scheme, Modi government has provided 5 lakh health insurance cover to 50 crore people, which is nearly 40 percent of the population of the country. Besides the insurance cover, the government is working to create 1,50,000 wellness centers across the country under the Ayushman Bharat scheme. The wellness centers which include Sub-Centres, Primary Health Centers (PHC) and Community Health Centres (CHC) are first line healthcare access to the people of the country. The families which will benefit from the scheme will be identified from the Socio-Economic and Caste Census (SECC), 2011 data.
Healthcare has been a key issue under the Modi government. The government launched Modicare, which is the largest public healthcare program in the world. It is also one of the cheapest and most efficient schemes, its success provide a template to all countries with similar per capita GDP to provide universal healthcare.