THE GIST of Editorial for UPSC Exams : 23 November 2019 (The pills within reach (Live Mint))



The pills within reach (Live Mint)



  • Mains Paper 2: Health  
  • Prelims level: Not much 
  • Mains level : Medicine availability 

Context

  • 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.

Way ahead 

  • 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. 

Conclusion

  • Yet, given the ground conditions in India, the benefits could outweigh those worries.

Online Coaching for UPSC PRE Exam

General Studies Pre. Cum Mains Study Materials

Prelims Questions: 

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

Ans: B

Mains Questions:
Q.1) What are the key benefits and challenges of the selling of common drugs in India?


NEW! UPSC Exam may be Postponed due to Corona Virus

GET DAILY NEWSLETTER for UPSC Exams

DONT FORGET TO CHECK AND CONFIRM YOUR EMAIL LINK.