Generic drugs key to control of diseases: Azad

Holding that cheap generic drugs are the key to prevention and control of diseases, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said exports of such medicines from India have been viewed with concern by the government.

Last Updated: May 17, 2010, 23:23 PM IST

New Delhi: Holding that cheap generic drugs
are the key to prevention and control of diseases, Health
Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad today said recent attempts to
confiscate in transit, legitimate exports of such medicines
from India have been viewed with concern by the government.

"Affordable diagnostic kits and cheap but good quality
generic drugs hold the key to any meaningful progress on the
prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. We,
therefore, view with concern recent attempts to confiscate in
transit, legitimate exports of generic drugs from India," Azad
said in his address at the World Health Assembly in Geneva.

"We are very clear that unless our people can afford and
access treatment, their health seeking behaviour would not
change.

"There would be no meaningful impact on the Non
Communicable Diseases Incidence (NCDs) and Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) would continue to be an uphill task,"
he said.

The minister informed the member countries of the WHO
that maternal mortality ratio in India has come down to
254/1,000 live births in 2006 from 301/1,000 live births in
the year 2003.

This shows a decline of 47 points over a period of three
years.

He said as against a projected figure of five million
HIV/AID patients in the country, the current numbers are 2.3
million and these numbers have started showing a declining
trend.

Azad also had a meeting with US Health Secretary Kathleen
Sebelius. Both the Ministers appreciated that India and US are
strategic partners in several areas including health.

He thanked the US department of Agriculture for
organising food safety training every year at the Michigan
State University for the personnel of Food Safety Standard
Authority of India.

He also recalled that the US food and Drug Administration
has opened their office in Delhi which facilitates exchange of
Information.

Both the Ministers discussed the latest position of
Memorandum of Understanding regarding setting up of the Global
Disease Detection Regional Centre (GDD) at New Delhi.

PTI