Why is DDA getting the same treatment as others?
Posted On June 16, 2021
A major change is that it’s a generic drug, which means it’s available to all consumers irrespective of the insurance they have, and the cost of treatment.
It’s also a drug that has been approved by a panel of experts from various countries, and has received broad public support.
A large section of the public supports this, but it is unlikely to win support from most other parties.
The main beneficiaries of this new model are the DDA, which has an annual budget of about $4 billion.
The other major beneficiaries are pharmaceutical companies.
The government has not given any financial incentives to pharma companies to come up with new products to replace DDA.
However, the DAA and the health department are considering ways to encourage pharmaceutical companies to produce new generic drugs, and in the meantime the government has committed $1 billion to the development of generic medicines.
The other big beneficiaries of the new model include the medical tourism industry, which makes up about 40 per cent of the overall economy.
But while DDA has been given a boost by the government, the industry has seen its business decline by about 20 per cent since the DHA was introduced in December 2017.
There is also some concern that some of the drug manufacturers are using the new system to push up prices.
The main reason for the decline in the industry is that there is less money to be made from selling the drug, and fewer drugs to be sold, says Sudha Bhatnagar, a senior economist at research firm IHS.
But the industry may have some hope for a solution.
According to the World Health Organization, one in every four people in the world has been diagnosed with cancer.
If we have a drug with an excellent efficacy rate, then we could possibly hope that the price would come down and people would be able to afford the drug.
However this has never been the case in the history of medicine, and this has led to some concern among doctors and patients.
So the government is looking at all possible options.
The main problem with this system is that the pharma industry is not allowed to participate.
It has to compete in a free market.
The only way they can compete is through the use of the same drug in every market, and that would be expensive, says Dr Sanjay Sharma, a professor of medicine at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
But he adds that there are other ways to make sure that generic medicines are available to everyone.
The government has decided to provide incentives to the pharmaceutical companies that are developing new generic medicines, such as a tax credit and a rebate of up to 50 per cent on the cost, up to Rs 2,000 crore.
The incentives would go to the companies who manufacture the drug for DDA and the other generic drugs that are covered by the DFA, and would also be used for other generic medicines like generic cancer drugs, vaccines, and other medicines that may have different therapeutic properties, said Dr Sharma.
In addition, the government will also give incentives to hospitals to provide the drug to patients in case they require a life-saving treatment.
For the pharmaceutical industry, this is a welcome move.
But it is not enough.
There are two things to keep in mind.
First, the price of the generic drug will remain high.
That means the price will not fall with the introduction of DDA but will increase with every drug that is made using DDA as it will not be cheaper in a generic form.
Second, the incentive for the pharmas to come forward with new drugs may not be as strong as the incentives for generic companies.
For example, the cost for a cancer drug that does not require a cure for a patient to be cheaper than the cost that the generic version will have.
There is a real risk that if the price rises by 50 per, 75 per or 100 per per cent, people may lose confidence in the health system, says Rishi Kapoor, president of the All India Medical Council.
The next step for the health ministry is to introduce a similar system to other parts of the world, such like South Africa, to encourage the use and production of generics.
The pharma firms, on the other hand, are not keen to participate in this.
The DDA is expected to become a national policy in a few months, but there are still a lot of questions to be answered before that happens.