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Thursday

Drug price increase: Good intentions wrong impact


As per the latest notification from the Central Board of Excise and Customs the import duty exemption to 74 drugs have been removed and now to import these drugs import duty will have to be paid.

Let us look at the logic of the government for the same

The main line of reasoning by government of India is that this has been done to promote Indian Pharmaceutical Industry and this will help in the long run.

The drugs impacted are used in treatment of disorders and diseases like


  • Kidney Stone
  • Cancer
  • Pancreas
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Lupus
  • Glaucoma 
  • Leukemia
  • HIV 
and many other, serious illness, so basically drugs across spectrum will no cost more. 

Now who suffers the most ? Normally these are the drugs that are either not made in India thus we need to import them as the amount of these drugs made in India is not sufficient to meet the demand.

So almost everybody will feel the impact of costlier drugs. The bigger challenge is that looking at the price increase the domestic pharma companies may also increase the prices of other medicines that do not come  under DPCO or Drug Price Control Order. 

Now let us examine the government's argument that this will help the local pharmaceutical industry to compete better. But I am unable to buy this argument because the domestic pharmaceutical industry is one of the original strong industry from India even before the IT boom came. 

You are within your right to question how do I know the same. Well for one my first, job was in a pharmaceutical company based in Baroda, in Gujarat the original hot spot of pharmaceutical giants like Sarabhai, Alembic, Torrent, Sun Pharma etc. Later the action shifted to Hyderabad with many a Hyderabad based companies taking lead like - Dr. Reddy's , Matrix Lab, and many other. The only notable exception was Ranbaxy that was Delhi based before it was sold to Japanese giant Daiichi Sankyo and later to Sun Pharma, thus bringing it back home to India.

Now Indian pharma companies may not be the biggest in the globe but they are not the smallest one either, infact in some of the specific fields like Contract Manufacturing, contract research,  clinical trial and research Indian Pharmaceutical companies are some of the biggest in the world and also export to not only third world countries in Africa, Asia and South America but also to developed nations like USA, UK, France, Australia etc.

So for all practical purpose the Indian Pharmaceutical companies are capable of competing with global giants on global scale so I do not buy the reasoning that they need support to compete with global companies on home turf.

For a second even if I buy the argument, then also should we worry too much about the pharma companies or about the poor patients ? I think you will be with me and say that we should be more worried about patients and less about the companies. 

So I will request our government to relook at the policy and work on reducing the price of all the essential drugs by not only lowering the duties but also the local taxes like Sales Tax, etc. on essential medicines being sold in the country. 

Do share your inputs about the same.


Tuesday

Why Mobile Apps are a good thing for country



Mobile Apps let us think beyond convenience 


Some time back I wrote a post about some wishlist to the finance minister for budget one of my wish was that we should discourage use of cash.

I have a few problems with cash. Mind you these problems are not with money but with form of money which we call CASH

So here is the list of problems with cash

1. It can be stolen
2. It is bulky 
3. Not always you will have right denomination or change to tender cash leading to unnecessary hassles and time delays.
4. But my biggest problem with cash is that it leads to illegal money or black money in the system which is unaccountable for. As cash can be easily hidden and transactions can be hidden from  the tax man.

So my suggestion was that we use check / online transaction for our our financial needs. Now with penetration of mobile phones this has become very easy. Evey a subzi wala carries a phone and if you make sure everybody is accepting the money via say mobile payment or e-payment gateway then it all becomes a transaction that comes into the system and is easily tracked to the source.

Now what you are doing by using a payment system via an app is that you are bringing the masses of people in to the banking system and you are eliminating the cash transactions.
It may begin with small amount but look at it this way

You pay 190 Rs to your Subzi Wala.

His daily sale is say 5000 Rs.

Then next day he pays 5000 Rs to the wholesaler

Now the wholesaler ( where typically the big black money transaction happens ) has no option but to further make payments via banking system. As the wholesaler is dealing in Lakhs and crores of rupees suddenly you eliminate a big chunk of black money from the system. Once the GST tax is is implemented in the country you are eliminating a complete chain of black money in the system. 
This will lead to increase in the tax collection and it all started with the 190 Rs you paid to the Subzi Wala.

Thus I am in  big favor of using mobile apps for making payments as it is not only convenient but in the long run it will help the country also.


Friday

Cactus Wale Papa


The Thorny Issue:  Cactus Wale Papa

One of the biggest joys of parenthood is to play with your kids.
I just love playing with my daughter some of the games we play are full of action like hide and seek while others are board games like Ludo, Snakes and Ladder, Scrabble etc. Some times we will laugh and some time we will fight on claims of cheating by the other party. Once after we have completed a game and were smiling, my wife said let me take a picture of both of you. So we posed and I hugged the kiddo, brushing my cheek against her.  The kiddo sighed in pain and said. " Papa  your thorns on face hurt me, you have cactus coming out of your face." 
I was a bit surprised as I shave daily, but apparently due to daily shaving the face skin  has become hard and rough. 

I was wondering what to do when the kiddo suggested " Papa why don't you use Dove just like me and mama and your skin will also become soft like us".

I just laughed at her suggestion, that men don't use Dove. I had no idea that soon I will get to use Dove, you see I was reluctant to use my wife's soap but then I saw a contest on Indiblogger where they were offering free samples of Dove soap to test and see for yourself how it works.
I just smiled and applied for the same. I was pretty sure I will not receive anything as I thought the contest will be only for women bloggers. So I totally forgot about it but about 2 weeks ago I received my samples of 2 pearly white Dove Soaps. I felt rich, I did not have to ask Missus to share her soap with me, I have never cared with which soap I took batch, and at times shampoo, and at times even used hand-wash for taking a bath.


But  now I  had my own bars of Dove  that boasts of giving  you soft glowing. Though the contest as well the ad of the soap say try it on one side and then see the difference in softness. I had my own softness meter in form or my daughter. So I used the soap on my face for a week or so, and was feeling a bit of difference from day 2 itself. But the softness test was still pending, one day when my daughter came to ask a question to me I answered her and then casually said " So do Papa gets a hug?"  She hugged me and I casually brushed the cheek to her.  And lo on a normal day the kiddo would have moved away saying " Papa your thorns hurt" and moved away. Well moved away she did but only with a smile on her face, she touched my face once again and said " Papa what happened to your thorns, your skin is soft like mine"
I smiled back and looked at Missus and said" Well now Papa will have soft skin only as I also now use Dove"

Well to hell with all those who are saying that I am using a girly soap. If Dove is  helping me get closer to my daughter, I will use it :). Good by hand-wash and all those manly soaps, welcome the new Metrosexual man, who uses Dove. 
You never know there could be a big market for the same, and if you see Dove ad in future where a man is advertising it remember you first read it here.

This is my entry for the Guessing game with my friend Dove Face Test contest organized by Indiblogger. Follow this contest on twitter using: #DoveFaceTest