Topic: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health
2) Discuss the effectiveness of price capping methods for pharmaceutical products as a tool to ensure affordable healthcare? Suggest alternatives as well. (250 words)
Why this question
The article talks about the effectiveness of price capping methods, used often by NPPA of late in ensuring that cost of drugs and medical devices go down. The article gives points against their effectiveness and hence this topic needs to be discussed.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to discuss pros and cons using price capping methods. We can also provide an alternative.
This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Highlight some of the recent incidents where price capping has been used – stents. Explain how this works.
Body – Thereafter assess the merits and demerits of price capping methods towards ensuring affordable healthcare. Highlight the practice of huge profit margins charged especially in the case of medical devices, the onus on the government to ensure access for the vulnerable section etc. In cons, talk about its impact on research and innovation, less than optimum results because of other cost components which have not been brought under control. Discuss the alternative of promoting generic medicines and domestic devices, the concept of Trade margin Rationalization etc and why or why not they would be achievement over status quo.
Conclusion – Summarize your answer and give a way forward.