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Indian-American doctors want lowering of cost of prescription drugs

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

An influential group of India-American physicians has aligned itself with Donald Trump's agenda to lower the cost of prescription drugs and urged the to carry out the immigration reform in particular H-1B and J-1 visas.

Scores of Indian-American physicians gathered at the US Capitol Hill last week urging the to pass the necessary legislations which they said need to address this major issue of concern for patients in the

"The exorbitant cost of prescription drugs is a critical care issue, as some life-saving drugs are too expensive for many patients," said a memorandum submitted by or to the lawmakers.

"As physicians, we want to ensure that the medicines the patients need are affordable and will be taken, to ensure a high quality of life, reduction of chronic ailments, and effective treatment today to prevent increased care costs in the future," said AAPI, which is the body of thousands of Indian American physicians in the US.

Nearly two dozen lawmakers attended AAPI's Legislative day at the Capitol Hill. Prominent among them were Tulsi Gabbard, of the Indian Caucus; Ed Royce, of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Frank Pallone, and Indian American lawmakers and

One of the major Emphasis of the agenda was on immigration reform, said Dr Sampat Shivangi, of AAPI's legislative wing.

Noting that H1 & J1 visas has affected group with backlog of their green card and their issue as they are restricted to serve in rural and underserved area, he said that emphasis should be on five years limitation.

"They should be given the green cards as they are not competing with US citizens as there is a tremendous short of physicians in USA. These physicians have made tremendous contributions to the US care where it is needed," he said.

Later in a meeting with Senator of Mississippi, an delegation led by Dr Shivangi said that the Indian professionals in the US have been unjustifiably waiting for more than a decade to get their green cards or permanent legal residency. This is mainly because of the country-specific quota.

"Senator agreed to look into it and introduce a bill with the language to overcome this problem," Dr Shivangi said.

"H-1 and J-1 visas are used by many South Asian American physicians, playing an important role in providing critical health care across the country. Combined with the Green Card backlog consisting of more than 4 million people, we are very concerned about the impact immigration reform will have on the South Asian American community," said in its legislative agenda to the lawmakers.

Noting that the US is facing a chronic shortage, which will only be exacerbated in the years ahead as more baby boomers retire, AAPI said the can act by passing legislation adding 15,000 more residency slots, which will help to train up to 45,000 more doctors in the next two decades.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, April 16 2018. 22:45 IST