ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Tracking Medicine Prices in the Supply Chain

Who Benefits from the Free Market in India?

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy brings all medicines in the National List of Essential Medicines, 2011 under price control. In order to bring transparency and to make medicines more affordable while providing industry with enough incentives, we need to know the manufacturer's selling price and add-on costs as the medicine moves along the supply chain till it reaches the consumer. The findings of this paper indicate that the patient does not benefit from trade schemes, marketing strategies, or the free pharmaceutical market. Brand loyalty and marketing strategies do not allow "real" competition. The paper makes a number of recommendations to make medicines affordable to the common citizen.

This study was funded by WHO’s South-East Area Organisation, New Delhi. Acknowledgements are due to many government officials in procurement agencies for extending help for smooth conduct of the survey. I wish to thank all the pharmacists and wholesalers who gave their precious time to provide data. I express my gratitude to my excellent and diligent data collectors, whose sincerity was critical for the success of this project. I sincerely appreciate the technical advice extended by Margaret Ewen, Coordinator, Global Projects (Pricing), Health Action International, Global, Amsterdam, whenever required. I thank Kathleen Holloway for reading and providing constructive inputs to the draft manuscript.

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