‘’Paper 3-GS-II, Topic: Development of sector relating to Health – Prices of 31 more drugs capped

NPPA has fixed/revised ceiling prices of 24 scheduled formulations of schedule-I under Drugs (Price Control) Amendment Order, 2016

    What you need to know:

  • The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) capped the prices of 31 more drugs.
  • The notification brings under price control intrauterine devices used for birth control; Factor VIII, a life-saving medicine for hemophilic patients; morphine, a pain killer; and rifampcin, a powerful antibiotic used to treat infections such as tuberculosis and leprosy.
  • With these 31 drugs, the NPPA has brought 791 medicines under price control. There are 829 drugs on the National List of Essential Medicines, 2015, all of which will be brought under price control.
  • The NPPA notification says, “In case the retail price of any of the aforesaid formulations is not complied with, as per instant price notification, the manufacturer/company concerned shall be liable to deposit the overcharged amount along with the interest thereon under the provisions of the DPCO, 2013.” In December 2015, the government had updated the NLEM list.

   DPCO:

  • Under the provisions of DPCO (Drugs Price Control Order) 2013, only the prices of drugs that figure in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) are monitored and controlled by the regulator, the National Pharma Pricing Authority.

   Significance of DPCO:

  • As patients are ignorant about cheaper substitutes, they seldom switch to the low-cost equivalents of the expensive drug brands recommended by their doctors.
  • Patients have little discretion in the choice, making it necessary for the state to intervene and make essential drugs available to the needy at reasonable prices.
  • India is a branded generic market, which means doctors prescribe the brand of each medicine to be consumed by patients, rather than the underlying formulation.
  • Despite availability of cheaper brands, doctors in many cases prescribe leading brands which are priced at a premium.

    Source: Hindustan Times

 

‘’Paper 2-GS-I, Topic: Salient Features of World & Society – Net migration falls in Britain

Number of EU citizens leaving U.K. rises, while arrival of foreign students falls

    Brief:

  • Net migration into Britain fell to 248,000 in 2016, led by a significant rise in the number of EU citizens leaving the U.K. and a fall in the international students arriving.
  • While the fall will be welcomed by some, including the Conservative party, which in its manifesto maintains a commitment to lowering net migration to the tens of thousands, it will raise concerns among others about potential skill shortages in the U.K.

   Brexit impact:

  • Figures published by the Officer for National Statistics (ONS) showed a statistically significant fall in net migration by 84,000 compared to 2015, driven by the number of EU citizens leaving Britain more than tripling.
  • Some 43,000 citizens of so-called EU-8 nations, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, left Britain during the year, while fewer numbers came to the country.
  • The figures are considered significant, highlighting the impact that last June’s referendum on leaving the EU is having on citizens of other European countries residing in Britain.
  • The ONS noted that this was also driven by a decrease in students from Asia, whose numbers fell to 64,000 from 80,000 in 2015 (it does not break it down by country until later this year).
  • However, separate data from the Home Office (which includes data on students on visas for less than a year) showed a slight increase in the number of visas issued to Indian students, whose numbers rose by 6% year on-year to 11,642.
  • Home Office data also showed that from outside the EU, the highest numbers of long-term visas were granted to Indian and Chinese nationals.

   Emotive issue:

  • The issue of immigration has emerged as a particularly emotive issue in Britain’s election campaigning. While the Conservatives have pledged to control and reduce immigration because high levels made it “difficult to build a cohesive society”, the Labour Party has promised “fair rules and reasonable management of migration”.
  • The far-right UKIP party, which released its manifesto on Thursday, said it would target reducing net migration to zero. Among the major parties, it has fallen to the Liberal Democrats to commit to “making the positive case for immigration”.

     Source: BBC UK

‘’Paper 4-GS-III, Topic: Development of Infrastructure: Roads – India’s longest bridge brings Assam closer to Arunachal Pradesh

PM inaugurates Dhola-Sadiya bridge over river Brahmaputra: says enhanced connectivity of the North East a priority for the Government Highways projects worth Rs 1, 50,000 crore to be taken up in the North East in the next two years

    Illustration:

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, inaugurated India’s longest bridge – the 9.15 km long Dhola-Sadiya Bridge over the River Brahmaputra, in Assam.
  • The bridge will ensure 24X7 connectivity between upper Assam and Eastern part of Arunachal Pradesh, marking a major transformation from the ferry-based, day-only connectivity that collapsed during floods.

   Brief:

  • It will also reduce the distance and travel time between the two states. The distance between Rupai on NH- 37 in Assam to Meka/Roing on NH-52 in Arunachal Pradesh will be cut down by 165 KM.
  • The travel time between the two places will come down from the current six hours to just one hour – a total five hour reduction.
  • Addressing a public meeting at Dhola on the occasion, the Prime Minister said Dhola-Sadiya bridge opens the door for economic development in the North East on a big scale.
  • He said the eastern and north-eastern parts of the country have the greatest potential for economic development, and this bridge is just one element of the Union Government’s vision in this regard.
  • The Union Government has decided to name the Dhola-Sadiya bridge after the great musician, lyricist and poet, Bhupen Hazarika.
  • Also speaking on the occasion the Minister of Road Transport & Highways and Shipping Shri Nitin Gadkari said that highways and inland waterways projects worth about Rs 40,000 crores are currently being implemented in the North Eastern states, and there are plans to spend about Rs 1,50,000 crores on projects in these states in the next two years .
  • He gave details about the major highways projects in the eight North Eastern states and said that a total of about 3,000 km of roads are currently being constructed in these states.
  • He also elaborated upon the planned and ongoing work for development of the Brahmaputra River (National Waterways – 2) and Barak River (National Waterways-16).

   Source: Press Trust of India