Doctors say diabetes patients should not be forced to pay for treatment and it’s time to stop relying on expensive pharmaceutical drugs, reports NDTV News.
Dr. Gaurav Jha, MD, Chief Medical Officer of The Indian Institute of Health Sciences, says patients should be given a free option to choose treatment, and if the patient can’t pay, they should have the option of paying for it.
He says the country should be using a “one size fits all” approach to health care.
Dr Jha said there are some patients who are very poor, they are not able to afford it, and therefore they cannot afford the treatment.
He added that they should be offered the option to pay if they can’t, but the patients should then be allowed to choose.
Dr Gaurapathy Dutta, MD and Associate Professor at the Institute of Physiology and Pharmacology, is one of the country’s leading experts on diabetes and its management.
He said a lot of the time patients don’t realise that they are taking medications that are not the same as what is recommended by the medical profession, which are causing them harm.
Dr Dutts statement comes after the government announced in April that it would raise the cost of life-saving diabetes drugs from Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 3,000 per month, and the price of a new insulin, which was supposed to be free for all, will now be Rs. 20,000 a month.
The new policy has triggered criticism that the government is not taking a holistic approach to healthcare.
The Health Ministry, which regulates the drug industry, has said the new policy will only help those who can afford the medicines, and that no one will be left out.
“If we think of a patient who is living with diabetes, if he has not been getting a proper dose of treatment, if his condition deteriorates, if the insulin fails him, then we should not take that medicine,” Dr Dutte said.
“So, the medicine should be a free choice.
The patients should have an option to opt out.”
India’s health ministry says it is not changing the current pricing regime but is “working to provide affordable medicines for all patients”.