Even as the government wakes up to the menace of fake drugs as Mint’s ongoing reporting shows, another problem awaits its attention. That of essential drugs failing to adhere to prescribed norms—specifically, drugs meant to treat anaemia, a predominant sign of growing malnutrition in the country.
A study by the non-profit, Drug Action Forum-Karnataka, published earlier this year, and a paper based on it presented recently at a workshop in Hyderabad, revealed that of the 338 anaemia drugs studied, only one fitted in with Government of India and WHO norms. And, that this drug is not easily available at most chemist outlets! The study inferred this was because the drug did not offer much of a profit margin. And found patients spending 2-56 times more than they ought to.
The latest official health survey told us anaemia rose to?affect?58%?of?pregnant?wo-men and 79% of children under three years in 2006. Easy and affordable access to treatment is surely a must.