Topic– Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
5) Entry of e-pharmacies will bring down the price of medicine for Indian patients. Discuss.(250 words)
Why this question
The article digs deep into controversies and criticism faced by e-pharmacies and discusses at length as to how e-pharmacies will be beneficial for the Indian patients.
Discuss- this is an all-encompassing directive which mandates us to write in detail about the key demand of the question. we also have to discuss about the related and important aspects of the question in order to bring out a complete picture of the issue in hand.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to write in detail about the e-pharmacies in India and bring out how they would help in increasing competition and lead to reduced prices of medicines for the customers.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the e-pharmacies in India. E.g Amid a slew of conflicting judicial decisions from different High Courts, the legality of e-pharmacies continues to be questioned and unclear.
Discuss in points as to how they would lead to lower prices of medicines for Indian patients. E.g
- The more prudent way of looking at the entry of e-pharmacies is competition and the resultant effect it will have on lowering the price of medicine for Indian patients.
- In a fully functional, competitive market, pharmacists would compete with each other for business. This competition could happen in the form of discounts or improving operational efficiency.
- Over the last decade, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has had to deal with several complaints alleging that trade associations of pharmacists are providing platforms for cartelisation where pharmacists are basically rigging the market.
- The practice of requiring pharmaceutical companies to apply for a no-objection-certificate (NOC) from the regional trade association before they appoint new stockists in a region to sell a particular drug has the effect of artificially restricting competition in certain markets because more stockists mean more competition. By creating such artificial, extra-legal barriers to the free trade of medicines within India, these trade associations create huge distortions in the Indian market.
- It is suspected that these practices continue despite multiple restraining orders by the CCI.
- One major factor that contributes to high drug prices in India is the unreasonably high trade margins.”
- One of the culprits for this phenomenon identified by the CCI was “self-regulation by trade associations [which] also contributes towards high margins as these trade associations control the entire drug distribution system in a manner that mutes competition etc.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.