Almost all Big Pharma Companies Plan Launch of Low Priced ‘Second Brands’ for Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance Scheme
NEW DELHI: A major step to wards for the huge relief to patients, multinational pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Pharma and Abbott have plan & proposed to launch a low priced “SECOND BRAND” of their products which can be introduced into government’s flagship “Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme”.
Urging the government to create “policy provisions” to allow launch of second brands for introduction into the state-run insurance scheme, the US India Business Council (USIBC) asked the government for a safeguard policy mechanism so that such supplies are exempted from price referencing.
The suggestion is part of a list of other measures proposed by USIBC including conducting screening camps for identifying patients and assisting the government in national health stack – an ambitious plan being considered by government to digitally store health records of all Indians by 2022.
A high-level delegation from the council met officials in the national health agency (NHA), the agency responsible for implementation of Ayushman Bharat, earlier this month to make the suggestions.
Ayushman Bharat, dubbed as Modicare, is the world’s largest healthcare scheme with Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) as its insurance programme catering to tertiary care, whereas health and wellness centres taking care of primary and secondary care. The insurance scheme, launched by PM Modi last month from Jharkhand aims to cover nearly 50 crore beneficiaries from 10.74 crore “deprived” families as per socio economic and caste census data with an annual cashless cover of Rs 5 lakh per family.
The council also suggested integration of the existing Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), which supplies generic medicines at around 50% discount, to strengthen Ayushman Bharat.
“We have suggested that we can launch a second brand specifically designed for the Ayushman Bharat program if the government provides policy support and ensures that these prices are not used as reference for further price fixation. Instead, these products can be sold under PMBJP so that it benefits the poor,”.
The companies have also offered to participate through innovative public private partnership models to address infrastructure and services demand in the healthcare sector.
“Given the right policy frameworks, Ayushman Bharat offers an opportunity for global pharmaceutical companies to enhance their participation in India’s public health programs and showcase their commitment towards the important goal of universal health protection for all Indian citizens,” the council said in a presentation made to NHA chief executive Indu Bhushan.
“The objective is to begin an US-India healthcare initiative that caters to affordable and accessible healthcare and continue towards the success of Ayushman Bharat. USIBC also plans to establish an internal working group on the scheme that will seek partnership from international and governmental organisations and associations such as USAID and others,” an official in the USIBC said.