Group Ties Up With Government To Expand Its Telemedicine Services
Apollo Hospitals Group has tied up with Common Services
Centres ("CSC"), a scheme of the Union
Government under the Department of Electronics and Information
Technology in Delhi, to deliver healthcare to rural patients using
telemedicine facilities. Apollo Hospitals has been in the
realm of telemedicine services since last 13 years. Both Apollo and
CSC have signed an MoU and aim to render primary and
preventive healthcare to rural patients through tele consultation.
This will enable rural patients to share their medical reports or
radiology images with doctors and hence afford an all round
investigation and an accurate diagnosis of their medical
PSA view -Telemedicine is neither defined under
Indian laws nor do we have any specific legislation which governs
it. However, telemedicine is increasingly been practiced in India
both at domestic as well as international level. For example, the
Ministry of External Affairs is implementing "Pan-African
e network project" to impart tele-education and render
telemedicine services to 53 countries of Africa. Secondly, a new
trend to bring foreign doctors on board for telemedicine services
is catching up with super specialty hospitals. Its high time when
government should introduce a legal framework to regulate
Court guides the government on DPCO and Clinical
A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi said that the central
government is being guided by market-driven forces and the current
DPCO would encourage profiteering of medicine brands prescribed by
doctors. The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO, All India Drug
Action Network, which contended that market based pricing is never
used for any price regulatory purposes and under the new policy
simple average ceiling prices are in many cases higher than the
market leader price.
In another PIL filed by an NGO, Swasthya Adhikar Manch in
February 2012, Supreme Court got all geared up to guide the central
government for ensuring a proper mechanism on clinical trials. A
bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha made observations on the
conducting of clinical trials.
PSA view -These observations by the Supreme
Court suggests the apathy of the government and government agencies
in firstly providing for a regulatory mechanism and secondly,
wherever there is a mechanism, to enforce strictly such a mechanism
to bring about the desired result for which the mechanism was set
up. A lot needs to be done to ensure safe and cost effective
essential drugs to the common citizen and to ensure that clinical
trials are conducted by the rule book in India and subjects are
appropriately taken care of or compensated.
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The food processing industry one of the largest industries in India is widely recognized as a 'sunrise industry' in India having huge potential for uplifting the agricultural economy, creation of large scale processed food manufacturing and food chain facilities, and the resultant generation of employment and export earnings.
One of the potential threats for manufacturing and sale of food/health supplements such as "Dietary food supplement", "Food supplements", "Nutritional supplements", "Health supplements", is its categorization in the category of "Food" or "Drugs", as there is a very thin line between "drugs/ medicines" and "nutritional supplements".
In its Cabinet Note in December, 2014, the Government of India proposed significant amendments to the Consolidated Foreign Direct Investment Policy, 2014 (''FDI Policy'') with respect to India's medical device industry.
Although in countries like the United States of America and New Zealand, drugs to be prescribed by medical practitioners are allowed to be advertised directly to consumers/patients and are regulated by the respective department of the Government in charge of drugs in the country, the same practice is not followed or encouraged in India.
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