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Medicine Prices and Affordability Survey in West Bengal, India (2004 - 2005). CUTS, Kolkata Ms. Dalia Dey Mr. Santanu Banerjee. Local Survey Leadership. CDMU, WB Prof. S. K. Tripathi Dr. Avijit Hazra. Supported by. World Health Organization Health Action International.

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Presentation Transcript
local survey leadership
CUTS, Kolkata

Ms. Dalia Dey

Mr. Santanu Banerjee

Local Survey Leadership
  • CDMU, WB
    • Prof. S. K. Tripathi
    • Dr. Avijit Hazra

Supported by

World Health Organization

Health Action International

With special thanks to

Dr. Anita Kotwani - Dept. of Pharmacology, VPCI, University of Delhi

CUTS behalf - Mr. Ranajit Dey, & Dr. Pranabesh Chakraborty

CDMU behalf - Mr. Amitava Guha, Dr. Amitava Sen, & Mr. Sushanta Roy

geographic regions surveyed
Geographic Regions Surveyed

indicates surveyed districts

sectors surveyed sampling
Sectors Surveyed & Sampling

Public sector

Initial plan was to survey 3 public facilities in each of the 7 districts. Accordingly a list of 3 (+ 3 for backup) facilities, not below the level of rural hospital, was drawn up for each district through convenience sampling.

It was decided a priori that if < 50% of the target number of medicines (total 32) were available at any facility, that would be dropped and replaced by a standby facility. Later this figure was modified to < 25%.

Private retail sector

5 retail pharmacies were identified in and around the public facilities selected and surveyed. The selection was done on spot. Minimum availability criterion was fulfilled for all outlets.

special features in survey setting
Special Features in Survey Setting

Public Sector

Procurement is central through open tender system. Procurement prices are therefore uniform. However, small variations in price were encountered, presumably because medicines were procured in different financial years and in case of some manufacturers tax components (e.g. Excise Duty and Sales Tax) were not applicable.

Private Retail Sector

Procurement is by individual outlet from preferred stockists / distributors (wholesalers). Price of same product could vary because of procurement of different batches, differences in retail margins, or rounding off of tax components.

core medicines dropped
Core Medicines Dropped

NAPF = Not available in public facilities.

supplementary medicines added
Supplementary Medicines Added

PF = Public facilities.

implementation of survey
Implementation of Survey
  • Date of Training - Sep 4-6, 2004.
  • Background of Data Collectors - All graduates with past experience of market survey. Area supervisors were from medical representative background.
  • Dates of Data Collection - Sep to Nov, 2004. Some residual data gathered beyond Nov, 2004.
  • Other Information - Approval letters had to be sought from DHS, Govt. of W.B. Copies were forwarded and carried by data collectors. Individual letters of introduction provided by SKT (one of the authors), in his official capacity, also helped in facilitating access.
problems encountered planning implementation data analysis
Problems Encountered: Planning, Implementation & Data Analysis

In general the planning and implementation of the survey proceeded smoothly through a MOU between the two implementing bodies - CUTS and CDMU. Problems were encountered in the following areas:

  • Getting access to a few public health facilities.
  • Procurement prices at public health facilities could not be obtained from the facility itself in most cases but were ascertained later from the CMS list of Govt. of WB.
  • In cross-checking prices from medicine strips in a few private retail facilities.
  • Some confusion during data entry due to the changing versions of the worksheet.
affordability baseline
Affordability Baseline
  • Daily salary of lowest paid unskilled government worker = Rs. 131.73

The minimum daily wage of unskilled labor, in the unorganized sector, should be Rs. 97/- [Govt. of West Bengal - Labor department].

  • Estimated proportion of population on less than this salary1 = 79.9% live on less than $2US per day.

1 Source = According to WB Development Report, 2004 - Newsweek Magazine, May 23, 2005, pg 10.

public sector procurement prices measured as median price ratios
Public Sector Procurement Prices (measured as Median Price Ratios)

IB

MSG

LPG

Median MPR for all medicines

--

--

0.75

MPR for Amoxicillin

--

--

0.93

MPR for Ceftriaxone

--

--

0.16

MPR for Omeprazole

--

--

0.09

MPR for Doxycycline

--

--

1.44

median price ratios in the private retail pharmacy sector 1
Median Price Ratios in the Private Retail Pharmacy Sector - 1

IB

MSG

LPG

Median MPR for all medicines

2.86

1.84

2.17

MPR for Amoxicillin

--

5.60

5.43

MPR for Ceftriaxone

--

0.64

0.62

MPR for Salbutamol inhaler

0.93

0.89

0.89

MPR for Doxycycline

17.13

8.75

8.40

availability and affordability of lowest price generics acute and chronic conditions 1
Availability and Affordability of Lowest Price Generics – Acute and Chronic Conditions - 1

Condition

Medicine

Availability in Public Sector

(no. of facilities out of 26 surveyed)

Affordability in Private Sector (# days work for unskilled government worker)

Diabetes

Glibenclamide

1 / 26 (3.8%)

0.3

Hypertension

Hydrochloro-thiazide

0 / 26

0.3

Hypertension

Atenolol

4 / 26 (15.4%)

0.5

Adult ARI

Amoxicillin

25 / 26 (96.2%)

1.3

Pediatric ARI

Co-trimoxazole suspension

1 / 26 (3.8%)

0.1

availability and affordability of lowest price generics acute and chronic conditions 2
Availability and Affordability of Lowest Price Generics – Acute and Chronic Conditions - 2

Condition

Medicine

Availability in Public Sector

(no. of facilities out of 26 surveyed)

Affordability in Private Sector (# days work for unskilled government worker)

Gonorrhea

Ciprofloxacin

0 / 26

0.1

Osteoarthritis

Diclofenac sodium

0 / 26

0.8

Depression

Amitriptyline

5 / 26 (19.2%)

0.9

Bronchial asthma, chronic

Salbutamol inhaler

0 / 26

0.6

Peptic ulcer

Ranitidine

0 / 26

0.3

availability and affordability of lowest price generics acute and chronic conditions 3

Condition

Medicine

Availability in Public Sector

(no. of facilities out of 26 surveyed)

Affordability in Private Sector (# days work for unskilled government worker)

Adult meningitis

Ceftriaxone

5 / 26 (19.2%)

7.7

Amebic dysentery

Metronidazole

0 / 26

0.1

Availability and Affordability of Lowest Price Generics – Acute and Chronic Conditions - 3
availability public vs private retail sectors 1
Availability: Public vs. Private Retail Sectors - 1

Median availability (%)

Public Sector

Private retail Sector

IB

MSG

LPG

IB

MSG

LPG

Aciclovir

--

--

0.0 %

68.6%

20.0%

31.4%

Amoxicillin

--

--

96.2%

5.7 %

77.1%

94.3%

Ceftriaxone

--

--

19.2%

0.0 %

85.7%

85.7%

availability public vs private retail sectors 2
Availability: Public vs. Private Retail Sectors - 2

Median availability (%)

Public Sector

Private retail Sector

IB

MSG

LPG

IB

MSG

LPG

Salbutamol inhaler

--

--

0.0 %

60.0%

85.7%

85.7%

Metronidazole

--

--

0.0 %

94.3 %

94.3%

94.3%

Phenytoin

--

--

0.0 %

0.0 %

91.4%

91.4%

brand premium 1
Brand Premium - 1
  • Brand Premium (BP) is the increased cost to be borne by the consumer in choosing an innovator brand over the corresponding low price generic equivalents.
  • BP varied from < 0 to > 100 % with majority in the 10 – 40 % range.
brand premium 3
Brand Premium - 3

Statistical analysis showed a strong direct correlation (Rho = 0.948) between brand price and generic price and a good correlation (Rho = 0.602) between brand price and brand premium.

other interesting findings
Other Interesting Findings

1. In many private retail outlets only the Innovator Brand (IB) and the Most Sold Generic (MSG) equivalent were available. The IB was cheaper than MSG (e.g. DAONIL cheaper than EUGLUCON). However, since IB price could not be repeated in any cell of the worksheet, MSG was taken as the LPG available, and thus in these instances LPG becomes costlier than IB.

2. Some of the supplementary medicines initially proposed (e.g. Paracetamol and ORS) could not be taken because of the difficulty in locating Innovator Brand or MSH reference price. These medicines are, in general, available in public facilities in West Bengal. The public sector availability picture would have been slightly better if these could have been included.

conclusions 1
Conclusions - 1

1. This cross-sectional survey of availability and public procurement or private retail prices in West Bengal is perhaps the only one of its kind in recent times.

2. The survey used a basket of 32 indicator drugs, all of which are essential medicines intended for common health problems.

3. Public health facilities in West Bengal use only low-priced generic (LPG) equivalents for free distribution.

conclusions 2
Conclusions - 2

4. Availability situation in the public sector is far from satisfactory, with 19 of the 32 medicines (59.4%) not being available.

5. Procurement in the public sector is quite economical with the median MPR (in comparison with MSH 2003 median prices) for all medicines being 0.64 and the 25th to 75th percentile range being 0.37 to 0.92.

6. Availability is evidently better in the private retail sector, with the median availability of all the 32 medicines being 70% in terms of most sold generic (MSG) equivalents and 77.1% as LPG.

conclusions 3
Conclusions - 3

7. The median MPR and the 25th to 75th percentile range of MPRs of MSG and LPG equivalents in the private sector indicate that medicines are costlier than the international reference prices but not too costly. There is some price variation for the same product.

8. Standard treatments are likely to be affordable to individuals who draw at least the minimum daily wages.

9. Medicine price mark-ups and components could not be ascertained through the field survey.

preliminary thoughts on implications for policy 1
Preliminary Thoughts on Implications for Policy - 1

1. With the government committed to providing universal access to essential medicines, serious investigation is needed into the causes of the low availability in the public sector.

2. It remains to be ascertained whether medicines selected for the public list do not cover some common health problems or whether the public distribution system for medicines in West Bengal is not functioning well.

preliminary thoughts on implications for policy 2
Preliminary Thoughts on Implications for Policy - 2

3. The reason for small variation in prices of the same brand in the private sector needs to be explored.

4. It is difficult to ascertain price mark-ups and components in the private retail sector through field surveys. The proper source will have to be determined first if this information is required.

5. Quality issue should also be addressed.