Affordability of treatment is a key step to making Diabetes Care Accessible.Commonly known as one of the states with higher incidence of diabetes, Gujarat saw the diabetes incidence doubling in four years according to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5. While higher incidence sure calls for increased detection and timely diagnosis, the access to diabetes care is a key concern among healthcare stakeholders. Therefore, this year’s theme of World Diabetes Day is ‘Access to Diabetes Care’. Given the rising economic burden of NCDs on households, affordability is a key step to diabetes care. The pressing concern can be easily addressed with mass promotion and adoption of generic medicines.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, millions of people with diabetes around the world do not have access to diabetes care. More than 3 in 4 people with diabetes live in low and middle-income countries, IDF states.
Estimates by Medkart, an omni-channel retailer of generic medicines suggests that without insulin, a single diabetic patient in the household amounts to treatment cost of at least Rs 1,000 per month. This goes upto as high as Rs 3,000 per month for a single insulin-dependent patient.
“Medkart strongly believes in IDF’s push that medicine, technologies, support and care be made available to all people with diabetes that require them. Affordability is the key step to making diabetes treatment accessible. If generic alternatives are chosen to branded counterparts, the medicine costs can be brought down to one-fifth. Even for insulin-dependent diabetics, generic alternatives can be 190% cheaper as compared to branded ones, according to Medkart,” said Parasharan Chari, co-founder, Medkart.
Commonly used drugs for treating diabetes include Sitagliptin, Dapagliflozin, Glimepiride and Metformin SR. The generic alternatives of each of these cost at about one-fifth the cost of branded ones, according to Medkart.
“Besides that in adults, the rising incidence of diabetes in children due to poor dietary habits and an unhealthy lifestyle is a matter of grave concern. Overall, the sale of diabetes medicines is increasing due to both higher occurrence of the disease but also higher detection too. But higher incidence directly translates into a higher economic burden on households. At Medkart, we firmly believe that the unsustainable rise in healthcare costs will have a detrimental impact on average Indian households and therefore, changing the way we deliver healthcare is extremely critical. Medkart has been changing the lives of people by reducing their healthcare costs, one generic at a time over the past eight years,” Chari added.
On World Diabetes Day, Medkart’s message is to promote and encourage use of generic medicines for treatment of diabetes as well as a slew of other ailments.