Access to healthcare for all in India

Flexmag04- BrevesLast August, Indian Health Minister, Manmohan Singh, looked into the possibility of setting up a means-tested system to establish reference prices for medicines. The system could cut the bill for certain products by one third. The retail price would then be adjusted to the user’s income. This calculation would only apply if there is no therapeutic alternative to the medicament in question. At the same time, the Indian government is looking into the possibility of providing generic medicaments for patients in public hospitals free of charge. These measures reflect the wish to broaden access to medicine in countries like India, where 79% of patients pay for their own healthcare, one of the highest ratios in the world.