CCI releases Policy Note on Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare
CCI releases Policy Note on Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare

CCI has released Policy Note on ‘Making Markets Work for Affordable Healthcare’, addressing major issues affecting competition and consumer interest in pharmaceutical and health sector.

According to the note, high trade margins contribute towards high drug prices in India and electronic trading of drugs could be an option to spur competitive pricing ways.

It also said that in-house pharmacies of super specialty hospitals are completely insulated from competition as in-patients are not allowed to buy any product from outside pharmacies. This calls for regulation that mandates hospitals to allow consumers to buy standardized consumables from the open market.

Touching upon generic drugs, it said that branded generic drugs enjoy a price premium owing to perceived quality assurance that comes with brand name. But it is possible that brand proliferation is to introduce artificial product differentiation in market, offering no therapeutic difference but allowing firms to extract rents.

For the same, it suggested that regulatory apparatus should ensure consistent application of statutory quality control measures and better compliance.

It also suggested portability of patient data. Currently, there is no regulation for portability of patient data, treatment record and diagnostic reports between hospitals.

Besides, it also pointed to presence of multiple regulators in the sector at centre and state levels.

The note has been shared with MCA, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Dept. of Pharmaceuticals and NITI Aayog.

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