Pune: Eyebrows were raised after the sudden removal of Bhupendra Singh, Chairman of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) among Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH) members.
Singh had published a report highlighting the exorbitant price of coronary stents and the profiteering done by private hospitals.
ADEH has applauded the great role played by Singh in exposing the private healthcare in India and especially of the corporate hospitals.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Arun Gadre, a member of ADEH, said that the very fact that the government moved Singh so urgently is skeptical. “We fear that this transfer will seriously jeopardise the measures initiated by NPPA under Singh’s leadership, which included curbing of profiteering. During his term, Singh had taken many corrective steps to ensure affordability of medicines and medical devices including stents and knee implants for millions of poor patients. It seems that this has pinched the pharma industry as well as device industry in a hard way,” said Gadre.
He further highlighted that in February, NPPA also exposed high margins charged by private hospitals to the level of 1192 per cent. ADEH suspects that the uproar this fact-finding has created in media must have been a reason behind Singh’s removal. ADEH fears that the transfer will affect the momentum gained in curbing exorbitant prices of drugs and devises and hence is against the interest of general public and millions of poor patients.
ADEH has also appealed to the ruling authority to not succumb to the pressures from hospital and pharma lobbies and revoke the order of transfer at the earliest.