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To the Parliament

…is where Aamir Khan went to discuss the need for price control and cheaper drugs

On May 27, 2012, Satyamev Jayate’s episode on the malpractices in the field of medicine and the need to adopt generic drugs was aired. Soon after, Aamir received a call from Rajya Sabha MP Shanta Kumar.

Kumar, who heads the parliamentary standing committee on commerce, invited Aamir and the team to share the knowledge they had gained while researching the episode. The committee was in the process of evaluating the pros and cons of foreign direct investment in the pharmaceuticals sector. On July 21, 2012, Aamir and the team put forward arguments for price control and cheaper drugs, and appealed to pharma companies to sell medicines in bulk and at lower prices.

Kumar told reporters that he found Aamir’s interventions "very educative, informative and well researched". He added, "We were on the same page on how MNC drug companies are looting people and luring doctors with gifts and foreign tours to prescribe their medicines. Seven Indian companies have been bought over in the recent months at three–four times the price just to ensure that they go out of business. Aamir said that the only way to make drugs available to India’s poor is to go generic, and I agree with him."

In addition to his visit to Parliament, Aamir also wrote letters to the chief ministers of all states urging them to make generic medicines available in public hospitals. "India exports generic medicine worth Rs 35,000 crore annually but poor Indians are not getting access to these cheap drugs," Aamir wrote in his letter.



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