The pills within reach (Live Mint)
- Mains Paper 2: Health
- Prelims level: Not much
- Mains level : Medicine availability
- India’s government is reportedly planning to allow local retail outlets to sell common drugs.
- As per the proposal, the Centre would let regular shops retail over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol, a popularly used pill for which people currently need to visit a pharmacy.
- Crucially, these drugs would contain key information on side effects and the appropriate dosage in local languages.
Availability of these medicines
- The wide availability of these medicines would offer relief to people living in far-flung areas where pharmacies are few and far between.
- In India, self-medication is highly prevalent, particularly in the rural areas. This is due to several reasons. There aren’t just enough qualified doctors in the country.
- The situation is grimmer in the rural hinterland. Reports suggest that about two-thirds of all doctors in India cater to urban areas.
- Moreover, going to a doctor proves to be time-consuming and expensive for rural folks.
- If non-prescription drugs can be bought at a local corner shop, it could help lower treatment costs for millions of people who have no chemist closeby.
- The proposal, though, alarms observers who insist on strict regulation of who is allowed to dispense medicines.
- The popping of pills without any medical authorization or knowledge could pose an immediate health risk.
- Easy availability could also result in an overuse of some over-the-counter drugs, compromising people’s health over a longer span of time.
- This has already happened in the case of antibiotics, whose rampant overuse has turned several strains of disease-causing bacteria resistant to these drugs.
- Yet, given the ground conditions in India, the benefits could outweigh those worries.
Q.1) With reference to the LOTUS-HR project, consider the following statements:
1. It was launched by Ministry of Earth Sciences
2. It aims to demonstrate a novel holistic (waste) water management approach that will produce clean water which can be reused for various purposes.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) None of the above
Q.1) What are the key benefits and challenges of the selling of common drugs in India?