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Modi says journey to Mars was cheaper than auto ride

A one-km auto rickshaw ride in Ahmedabad takes Rs10 and India reached Mars at less than Rs10 per km, which is really amazing

 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday used the metaphor of cost of travel by auto in Ahmedabad to the expenditure incurred in the landmark Mars Orbiter Mission, which the country accomplished in the very first attempt.


“A one-km auto rickshaw ride in Ahmedabad takes Rs10 and India reached Mars at less than Rs10 per km, which is really amazing,” the Prime Minister said while talking about India’s talent pool and potential to become one of the top most countries in the world.
The Prime Minister said a cost of Rs7 was incurred per kilometre in covering the 650 million km distance to Mars by the unmanned spacecraft.


“Everything about Mangalyaan is indigenous. We reached Mars at a smaller budget than a Hollywood movie,” he said adding “India is the only country to reach Mars on its first attempt. If this is not talent, then what is?”


India had on 24th September created space history by successfully placing its low-cost Mars spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet in its very first attempt, catapulting the country into an elite club of three nations.


At just $74 million, the mission costed less than the estimated $100 million budgeted.


India’s MOM is the cheapest inter-planetary mission, costing a tenth of NASA’s Mars mission Maven that entered the Martian orbit on 22nd September.


With the success of “Mangalyaan”, India became the first country to go to Mars in the very first try. European, American and Russian probes have managed to orbit or land on the planet, but after several attempts.


Modi had witnessed the operation along with the space scientists in ISRO headquarter in Bangalore.

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NPPA's U-turn on capping prices of 108 drugs for cardiac, diabetes

First, the drug regulator issued guidelines to control prices of drugs that were outside the list of essential drugs. When pharma companies reached court, NPPA withdrew its guidelines through a notification

 

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has withdrawn guidelines it issued for price control on 108 drugs used in treatment of cardiac and diabetes. It must be noted that under the Drug Prices Control Order (DPCO), issued under Section 3 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, NPPA was meant to regulate drug prices of medicines listed in the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM). However, it tried to control prices of drugs that were not listed in NLEM and when pharmaceutical companies approached Courts, the drug regulator decided to withdraw its 'controversial' order.

 

In a statement, NPPA said, "In compliance with the directions received from the government in the Department of Pharmaceuticals...the aforesaid internal guidelines issued by the NPPA on 29 May 2014 under Paragraph 19 of DPCO 2013 are hereby withdrawn with immediate effect."

 

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) was set up in 1997 and vested with the powers to implement the DPCO but so far had little impact. At present, prices of 348 drugs are controlled under the NLEM. However, on 10th July, NPPA, invoking para 19 of DPCO, extended price control to drugs outside of NLEM and brought 108 cardiac and diabetes drugs under the price control mechanism.

 

Paragraph 19 of DPCO, 2013, authorises the NPPA in extraordinary circumstances, if it considers it necessary to do so in public interest, to fix the ceiling price or retail price of any drug for such period as it deems fit.

 

Several industry bodies, including Indian Pharma Alliance (IPA), had criticised the NPPA's move. In fact, towards the end of July, the IPA challenged the NPPA notification in Bombay High Court. After consulting legal experts, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, under which the NPPA functions, told the Court that it would withdraw the guidelines it issued for bringing 108 cardiac and diabetes drugs.

 

However, this move has been criticised by Congress. In a blog post, Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, said, "While this move will get Shri Modi good PR and earn the Corporate houses undeserved profits, the common man – the middle and lower class Indian- will be left devastated by the sheer insensitivity of this move. It may be noted that India has about 4.1 crore diabetes, 4.7 crore coronary heart disease, 22 lakh tuberculosis, 11 lakh cancer and 25 lakh HIV/ AIDS patients, who along with their families are going to be severely hit by this anti-people/ anti-national decision."

 

According to Maken, the former minister in the Manmohan Singh cabinet, the guidelines of NPPA had sought to widen the ambit of drug price regulation beyond the NLEM list. This was done by including Life Saving Drugs – for starters anti-cancer medicines, HIV drugs, anti-tuberculosis, anti-malaria, cardiovascular, anti-diabetes, anti-asthmatic drugs and immunological so that no company could price their products at a more than 25% mark up over the simple average of the products in that category.

 

"The guideline for price fixation for Life Saving Drugs has been a sore point with pharmaceutical companies’ particularly multi-national companies. Shri (Narendra) Modi is carrying to America as gift, the hard-earned money of the country’s poor. The beneficiaries of this unprecedented anti national move is only going to be the American pharmaceutical giants, Indian drug manufacturers and the US administration, even as crores of TB, Cancer, AIDS, Malaria and heart patients and their families will be made to pay through their nose for sustaining treatment," Maken added.

 

Here is a list of drugs whose prices would go up...

 

UPA policies and are NOW EXPECTED TO GROW UP

 

Category

Name of Drug

Original Prices (Rs.)

Prices after UPA’s intervention (Rs.)

Anti-Cancer

Tab Geftinate

11,500

5,900

 

Tab Nolvadex

200

45

 

Tab Veenat

11500

8,500

 

Tab Glevec

1,08,000

8,500

Blood Pressure/ Heart

Tab Cardace 5mg.

128

92

 

Tab Seloken XL 50

164

78

 

Tab Losar 50mg.

94

67

 

Tab Plavix

1,615

147

Anti-biotic

Tab Moxicip 400

399

250

 

Tab Moxif

418

295

 

Tab Taxim O 200

198

118

 

Tab Augmentin 625

263

150

 

Tab Taribid 200

173

34

Cholesterol

Tab Storvas 10

97

62

Anti-Depressant

Tab Alprax 0.5

39

31

 

Tab Alprax 0.25

22

15

Eye-Drops

Xalatan

1,187

450

 

Xalacon

1,348

515

Diabetes

Inj. Huamn Mixtard

169

140

 

Tab Amaryl 2

208

98

Injections

Albumin 20

5,500

3,800

 

Anti D

3,500

2,200

 

Anti Rabis (Kamrab)

7,000

2,670

Other

Tab Decdak 2

21

10

 

Tab Zyloric 100

34

21

 

Tab Ocid 20

97

50

 

Tab HCQS 200

63

59

 

Tab Megafreeflex

346

255

 

Tab Andriol

157

115

 

Tab CCM

194

177

 

Tab Amdepin

47.40

31.60

T.B. Drugs

AKT 4

13.30

12.70

 

AKT 3

9.15

8.68

 

Rcinex

54

49.70

 

(NOTE: The list is taken from Mr Maken's blog, http://ajaymakenblog.wordpress.com/ )

 

NPPA was established to fix or revise prices of controlled bulk drugs and formulations and to enforce prices and availability of the medicines in the country, under the Drugs (Prices Control) Order, 1995.

 

The organisation is also entrusted with the task of recovering amounts overcharged by manufacturers for the controlled drugs from the consumers and also monitors the prices of decontrolled drugs in order to keep them at reasonable levels.

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COMMENTS

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