Medicines at Rs 2 per tablet for BP, sugar

In an attempt to tap the expanding market for drugs for chronic diseases due to increasing population of the elderly and masses who cannot afford costly drugs, a private drug company launched drugs uniformly priced at Rs 2.  

This will include drugsfor lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar.  The uniform pricing strategy (UPS) is aimed at providing medicine at the same cost across the dosage strengths.  “Whether the patient has prescription for 10 mg or 40 mg, the tablet will be available at Rs 2. India has a highly unexploited market in this field,” said S C Sehgal, chairman of Ozone Pharmaceuticals, the company that has launched the low-priced medicines.  Referring to a 2011 survey by an industry body, he said 60 per cent people suffering from diabetes do not know about their condition. Diabetes can be a root cause for a number of diseases, including cardio-vascular disorders. “According to estimates, in the age bracket of 25-69 years, 24.8 per cent people suffer from heart diseases. The estimates suggest if the trend continues, by 2020 there will be 111 per cent increase in cardio-vascular related deaths in India. One major reason is many are not even aware of their diabetic condition,” said Sehgal.

If the awareness level about the disease increases, there is a big market waiting to be captured. Right now only 16-17 per cent of diabetics take medicines lifelong. Doctors say most patients leave medication in between when they start to feel better.  “Diabetes goes untreated in the country mainly because of financial reasons as the purchasing power of the population is very low. The medicines are costly for most people to continue throughout life,” said diabetologist Dr A K Jhingan.  Sehgal said low price could be possible because company cut down on marketing costs. The medicines are available across city in nearly 3,000 chemist shops. 

Comments (+)