Health being one of the biggest concerns of the country, the government is soon to announce an SMS based service, in August, to overcome the challenge of “affordability” in medical services.
The utility of SMS is the base point of the overall initiative. The person has to send a text message on a particular number mentioning the medicine brand that has been prescribed to him. As a response message he shall receive an SMS with alternatives of the same medicine along with the price differentials. Moreover, it would carry a caution recommending consultation of the doctor before going ahead with intake of dosage.
As the price differentials in major cases is as huge as Rs.10-15, it avails the price benefit to the consumer thereby leaving no margin of exploitation. The service will enable him to obtain cheapest option available in the market without compromising on formula of the medicine. The initial coverage of the market would be two-third and will include range of anti-infectives, painkillers, respiratory and gastro-intestinal medicines to start with.
The government also intends to set in filters such as restriction in the number of options available, acceptance of alternatives only from large companies that have a national presence to ensure quality and availability of such medicines.If implemented in an apt manner, this service can prove to be successful in addressing medical needs of millions.