Pharmaceutical Industry in India is a very vast and diversified sector with an annual revenue generation of more than $100 billion, and with a potential of much more as the years proceed, with new medicines coming in the market every year maybe every month. It is an industry which was not considered a significant industry initially in the 1900s but lately has gained great mileage and importance due to the advent of many new ailments, increased awareness, changes in lifestyle, increased population, and a range of other factors. The Indian Pharmaceutical industry is expected to touch about $600 billion till 2020 along with the emergence of new technology, better healthcare systems, improved medical facilities and services, influx of more MNC’s on the Indian markets etc. The previous two decades belonged to the IT industry, but the next forthcoming decades are those for the medical professionals. The medical professional along with the important tool of technology can significantly contribute to the profession by providing ground-breaking discoveries in the field of diagnosis and drug development.
Even though the future looks quite promising for pharmaceutical growth in India from the above glowing picture, there is also a deep darker side to it that was and is prevalent even today. The point I am coming to is that although Indian pharmaceutical market is growing at an exponential rate, countless people still die in various parts of our country and this is not only restricted to the rural areas but also to the urban metropolitan areas. There are various reasons to this, the most common being the financial disparity, lack of awareness, orthodox mindset, and the most crucial being malpractice in the profession. A country like India is affected more because of these issues due to the high illiteracy rate and ignorance. This makes the population more vulnerable and it is taken advantage of by the healthcare professionals and the industry as a whole.
Apart from this the latest trend is an increasing selling and marketing of counterfeit medicines, which the patient being unaware of takes it because the doctor has prescribed him. The counterfeit medicine market is altogether a different industry that flourishes in every country but more so in India. The state of Gujarat according to the recent statistics is the hub of counterfeit medicines especially when it comes to over the counter (OTC) drugs.
The entire scenario can be changed by stringent norms and regulations by the government. It may help curb pharmaceutical malpractice. Also on the other hand the government needs to help the pharmaceutical firms to help get access to the interior part of the nation, where illiteracy is maximum so as to provide awareness and efficacious treatment. Pricing of medicines has a key role to play especially in India where there is a large chunk of population which is poor; the more the price of medicines by the established multinational firms, the more is the chance of generics entering into the market and the more is the risk of spurious and counterfeit medicines surfacing in the market.
As a healthcare professional, we need to realize that, malpractice in our profession does not cost the patient their money but the patient pays through his life and all this happens just for a small extra cost. There is a very fine line between we being professional or unprofessional in our work and it is upon the individual to decide on which side of the line he/she would prefer to be.