To ensure people do not pay exorbitant amounts while buying medicines, Consumer India, an organisation working for consumer rights in India, plans to push for the opening of more government of India's Jan Aushadhi stores that sell good quality generic drugs at nominal prices.
"We are paying too much for our medicines; the Jan Aushadhi initiative of the government of India has proved that quality medicines can be sold at 10%-25% of the price at which they are normally sold in the market,” said Navin Chawla, former chief election commissioner of India.
He was talking about unethical practices in the field of medicine during a talk organised by Consumers of India in the Capital on Friday.
Chawla was the chief guest.
The speakers condemned the practice of going to large foreign companies to buy medicines, allowing them to make huge profits at the cost of the financial health of our own people, especially those who cannot afford to buy such expensive drugs.
"I found there are only three Jan Aushadhi stores in Delhi, we must ensure there are 300 to benefit people. We will speak to the health ministry and push for opening of more outlets," said Chawla.
Sale of adulterated drugs is another problem plaguing the country. "An independent survey needs to be carried out to know the extent of problem. The government may say 1% or 2%, but that needs to be checked," he said.
The private hospitals buying land at auction rates automatically escalate the cost of treatment as it means putting patients through unnecessary diagnostic tests.
"If someone is buying land for R300 crore and is setting up world-class infrastructure, the cost obviously is going to be borne by people as they decide they are going to make so much money out of us. These are some of the issues that we can follow," said Chawla.
Consumers India has been holding series of talks and panel discussions to create awareness among consumers.
In past year, the organisation has organised nine such events.