More AIDS and TB drugs to be provided for free

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MUMBAI:  India is likely to add more HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis drugs to a list of essential medicines that are subject to price caps, people directly involved in the process said – a move to improve the affordability of medicines.

The drugs likely to be included in the list are part of the government’s HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis control programmes, under which patients suffering from these diseases get free medicines in government clinics, the sources told Reuters.

But many patients in the country prefer private hospitals, where these medicines are sold at the market price, making them unaffordable for many, they said. The private sector accounts for about 80 per cent of India’s healthcare delivery market.
The AIDS and TB medicines would join a list of nearly 400 essential drugs under price control in India, where more than 70 per cent of people live on under $2 a day and health insurance is scarce.

The sources, who are part of a health ministry panel to review the essential medicines list, declined to be identified as the new additions have not been finalised.YK Gupta, vice chairman of the panel, declined to comment on new drugs that would be part of the list and said the discussions were ongoing.

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