The current economic situation in the country has forced people to fear from getting hurt or injured or suffering from any disease, not because of the pain which follows but because of the high-cost medicines which they have to swallow.
Shalini Pahwa, who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a kind of cancer was given a weekly dose of injection Novartis Zometa, amounting to Rs 15,200 per dose for four weeks for two years in a private hospital in Gurgaon. To her surprise, she got the same injection at a hospital at the price of Rs 4, 000 in Bangalore.
After this incident, Shalini was furious and inquired the Gurgaon hospital about the bluff they had made of her, they offered her a cheaper option Cipla’s Zoldria amounting to Rs 2,800 in order to save themselves from any further issue.
She again found a cheaper option of the same injection, Zoldonat, manufactured by Nacto for just Rs 800 at a different hospital which works the same way the one offered in Gurgaon’s private hospital. She felt disappointed on the fact that the hospital had never discussed the cheaper option earlier, hiding which they meant her to bargain for it.
It has been found that the private hospitals buy drugs and devices in a huge amount at discounts and sell them to patients at the original maximum retail price which has a huge difference which is just like how the normal market shopkeepers buy their inventory from the wholesale market and sell drugs at the MRP.
According to an inside report, Zometo is sold to distributors for Rs 13, 000 which would provide a clear profit of Rs 2,200 when sold at MRP. This profit wouldn’t be gained when the Rs 2, 800 option is used. A hematologist defends the issue by saying that the doctors provide medicines and drugs at the original price to make a good quality impression which the generics or the low-cost medicines won’t.
The possible reason behind selling medicines and other requirements is to keep their revenue system growing. This scheme also involves denying patients to buy medicines from outside the hospital in the name of quality. Doctors argue that these high prices attract companies to invest in the private hospital which is their only way to generate revenue.
The government has never been supporting public hospitals which not only provide medicines at a cheaper rate but they don’t keep any profit margin which the government fails to promote. This leads patients to unwillingly opt for private hospitals.