I am a doctor who has been in active practice since 1974. I have been watching the developments in the pharmaceutical industry from day one of my practice (Drugs, Ranbaxy and lies,” May 29). With the mushrooming growth of companies, multiple splits, so-called divisions in which companies market the same molecule in different names — all these confuse doctors. A doctor in the same town cannot interpret the prescription of a colleague because of multiple brands. No one can say which drug is effective as quality control exists only in name.

Any Indian citizen can start a marketing division with a few mobile phones and a group of representatives to talk to doctors about commissions. Lakhs of drugs are ordered from companies in Puducherry, Meghalaya and other places for tax benefits. Nobody inspects them. Some companies take plain tablets and label them locally.

Earlier, even if one molecule was marketed, we used to identify the researcher, view the product monograph and only then prescribe the medicine. But no one seems to care any more.

Dr. A. Jesudoss,

Thanjavur

Medicines are allowed to be marketed with a self-certification by the manufacturer. We lack an effective monitoring mechanism at the licensing, manufacturing, pricing and marketing stages. Hundreds of medicines of irrational combinations are available in the market. The cost of important medicines is increased often without any explanation. Spending illegally for prescription generation has become common. It is s pity that the government has wantonly closed its eyes.

A.G. Rajmohan,

Anantapur

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