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Senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia today urged the Centre to enforce strict standardisation of medicines and check exorbitant pricing by pharmaceutical companies saying without such measures "generic drug policy will remain a play with words".
"There must be strict standardisation of medicines so that no manufacturer is able to push sub-standard products into the market. Poor patients will not purchase cheaper drugs unless they have the confidence that the medicine will be effective", Togadia told reporters here.
Also, there must be a check on "exorbitant pricing by pharmaceutical companies." There can be no justification for so much disparity in the prices of the same medicine, sold under different brand names, he said.
Besides, availability of generic drugs must be ensured at all shops, not just a few select stores. Unless these measures are undertaken, "the generic drug policy will remain a play with words", he said.
The VHP international working president was here to attend a function of the India Health Line (IHL) initiative, which was launched by him at Hyderabad in 2013 and through which he aims at "making a huge difference to the health care scenario in the country where people spend Rs 14 lakh crore every year for treatment of diseases, many of those easily curable or preventable".
He also urged the government to scrap the Clinical Establishment Act "brought in by the previous regime, but in force even now" saying "it is based on the European model which, in effect, throttles small, private nursing homes while benefiting big corporate hospitals and depriving the middle class of affordable treatment options".
The firebrand VHP leader, who declined to speak on contentious issues, said "having been a cancer surgeon myself, I feel strongly that many illnesses can be kept at bay by ridding people of their addiction to alcohol and tobacco."
"We have developed our own system, which has been approved by the FDA, wherein we use a blend of psychotherapy, Ayurveda and Allopathy to help the people kick their habits".
"Through IHL, we have involved millions of trained volunteers, called health ambassadors, who provide their services at our free health check-up camps. We have a mega blood donor group whose members can be accessed through our special mobile app," Togadia said.
Thousands of specialist doctors have also been taking time off their busy schedule to attend to patients "who seek help through our call centres", he added.