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Review govt. policies: CMSRU
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JAN 6 (NPN):
Published on 7 Jan. 2011 12:34 AM IST
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A consortium of medical representatives from the region on Thursday demanded a series of review in government economic policies citing various loopholes, which they asserted, were being misused by pharmaceutical companies. Maintaining that the companies were following unethical business practices, the members under the banner of Centre of Medical Sales Representatives Union (CMSRU), sought for a high level inquiry into the allegations.
Addressing a press conference on the eve of their general conference meeting, executive member and district secretary CRU (NER) Jorhat Dipendu Das said that the government should bring about some changes in the national policy with regard to pharmaceutical companies for the benefit of the commonman. Some of the demands made by the union included complete removal of excise duty from essential drugs, redrawing the list of essential drugs from the present 254 drugs, investigation into monopolies by MNCs especially those producing essential Life Saving Drugs (LSD), enforcement of Industrial Dispute Act (section 2 j and 2 b), fixation of minimum wages for the representative and implementing actions for welfare of the representatives.
Citing an example, the representatives pointed out that some companies have already stopped manufacturing many essential drugs due to the fixed price capped by the government. They added that the same medicines were manufactured under a different name and sold at a higher price by the companies. Admitting that it was very difficult to distinguish spurious drugs from real ones, the representatives called for setting up drug laboratories in every state in order to determine the chemical content and thereby prevent harmful effect on health.
Issues on price variations of various medicines despite the same chemical content were also pointed out, which the representatives said was becoming a burden on the commonman. They alleged that the pharmaceutical companies were more interested in manufacturing non-essential drugs since it raked in more profit. Unethical practices by companies in sponsoring trips abroad for health care personnel on the pretext of seminars so that their products get prescribed was also raised by the union.
The union members also expressed their anxiety over the buying spree of Indian pharmaceutical by MNCs which they alleged was promoting monopoly practices and thereby denying low cost LSD out of the common man’s reach.

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