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U.S.based India First Group to lead the “Coalition for Affordable Care”

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India First Group, a strategic advisory firm based in Washington, DC and New Delhi has taken up the mantle to mobilise the “Coalition for Affordable Care”, comprised of like-minded stakeholders whose core aim is to promote access to high quality, low cost medicines to improve quality of life globally.

It aims to counter one of the most anti-Indian, negative advocacy campaigns ever witnessed in the two countries’ history. This is in the backdrop of forces backed by Big Pharma, including the most powerful special interest business lobby in the United States, PhRMA, chaired by Pfizer’s Ian Reid, the Global Intellectual Property Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers, continue their campaign to downgrade the reputation of Indian pharmaceuticals in order to maintain market share and destroy competition.

Under the leadership of former U.S.-India Business Council President, Ron Somers, India First Group will blunt this special interest offensive by galvanising those supporting access to low cost, high quality alternatives to what has become a cocktail of unaffordable branded medicines.

“With more and more American ‘Baby-Boomers’ requiring access to lower cost, high quality medical treatments and medicines, most of the world’s population– some 5 billion people increasingly find themselves unable to afford even basic care. The time has come to let the truth be known on Capitol Hill, in the halls of government, and across America, that Indian and U.S. manufacturers of generic drugs are producing high quality medicines at a fraction of the price of branded pharmaceuticals. Short-sighted tactics and negative campaigns may have worked to preserve market share for these special interests previously, but history is not on their side,” said Somers.

Coalition for Affordable Care stakeholders support market-based pricing and the protection of intellectual property in line with global norms. Constituents like the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, comprised of such prominent companies as Sun, Lupin, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Zydus Cadila, Ranbaxy, among many others, are busy developing new drug discoveries and health treatments for their product pipelines. And when mass production at highest quality with cost in mind is paramount, like when President George W. Bush called on world-wide producers to help battle AIDS in Africa, it was India’s pharmaceutical companies that made quality anti-retrovirals, enabling PEPFAR in Africa to succeed – one of the triumphant humanitarian successes of the George W. Bush Administration.

Insurers seeking to lower costs, pension funds, large employers, doctors, healthcare professionals – essentially all generations of Americans born after 1930 who now find themselves unable to afford basic healthcare, will be invited to join the Coalition for Affordable Care , a statement said.

Forces desperate to squelch competition such as PhRMA, GIPC, and NAM, which have had a free run tar-brushing India these past twelve months while that country has been busy with its recent national elections, will face fresh resistance now as India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will be focused on growing India’s economy, where public health and the need for affordable healthcare figure prominently.

 EP News Bureau – Mumbai

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