Tuesday, April 25, 2017
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What is ‘P2G2’?

The Narendra Modi government has a new mantra. Like all mantras of this government, it is flying on the wings of a memorable acronym “pro-poor good governance”, or P2G2. What could this mean in a country where over 63 million people are pushed into poverty every year due to healthcare costs alone? One telling piece of P2G2 was revealed to us the other day by the Prime Minister himself. Inaugurating a charitable hospital in Surat, Mr Modi said the Central government was thinking of a legal framework that would make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe only generic medicines. Generics, as most people are aware, are cheaper than the equivalent branded drugs. Mr Modi also reminded us that his government had brought in a new health policy, capped the price of many medicines as well as coronary stents, even if this meant angering the pharma companies. What could be more P2, or pro-poor, than pushing for affordable medicines in a country where most people pay for medical treatment out of their pocket, and where the biggest chunk of out-of-pocket health expenses goes towards buying medicines? However, there is a complication, notably the second part of the mantra G2, or good governance. While the intention of ending the practice of greedy doctors prescribing only expensive drugs is a noble one, there is also the issue of logistics. Ensuring safe, affordable medicines involves more than just two parties the doctor and the patient. It means there has to be a sufficient supply of low-cost generic medicines.
Dr. Amrit Kour
(Nanak Nagar, Jammu)
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