Saturday, February 16, 2008

The sad state of drug information for consumers in India

The sad state of drug information for consumers in India.: "This paper examines the nature of information currently being disseminated to consumers. It identifies which actors are involved in dispensing such information and the type of information that each provides. It also identifies models and guidelines on what kind of information should ideally be provided, how it should be done, and how this can further the cause of helping consumers make informed choices. Finally, it examines the law and policy regimes applicable to drug information disseminated to consumers.

The main findings of the paper include:

* The availability of consumer drug information in India is extremely low in terms of quantity. Information is not provided in a user-friendly manner in most cases, and rarely includes traditional medicines.
* There is a particular lack of information relating to drug prices, and there is no single dedicated actor concentrating only on consumer drug information.
* There is no coordination between the various actors providing consumer drug information, and no consistency of information being supplied. Information directed at consumers is largely aimed at creating awareness about preventive strategies; it does not provide technical medical details pertaining to drugs, nor does it provide practical information regarding usage and consumption of the drug."

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