India to begin paying for drugs for 'everyone'

It looks like the pharma industry may have gotten through to the government in India about the need to expand public access to healthcare. Currently, Indian patients needing healthcare, including drugs, have to pay nearly 80% of the cost out of their own pockets. According to Pharma Times, India is going to make 350 drugs available free to everyone who needs them beginning in October. It has already set aside $17.5 million to pay for nearly drugs in the next fiscal year. The federal government will cover 75% of the cost and states are expected to pick up the rest. While the amount of money allocated seems small for a country with a population like India's, this falls in line with what many in the pharmaceutical industry have been saying needs to happen rather than stripping branded drugmakers of their patent protection to make drugs more affordable. The story says the government will buy directly from manufacturers and importers but set up some requirements to qualify. Story | More