Customs Import Duties Exemption For AIDS Drugs, Says Indian Government

Lamya Ibrahim

June 21st, 2015

In its ongoing efforts to thwart the AIDS epidemic, the Government announced exemption of custom import duties for certain antiretroviral drugs and kits. At least a third of the 2.1 million afflicted with the ailment depend entirely on distribution of these free drugs provided by state-run centres, but many face shortage or stock outs of their daily medication for months. With this welcome step, the import of raw materials required for their manufacture under the national programme will be much cheaper.

The lack of restrictions will be in effect till March 31, 2016, said the notification issued by the Central Board of Excise and Customs. This would benefit Adult first line, Adult second line and Pediatric Antiretroviral drugs, as well as ‘Cluster of Differentiation (CD) 4 Kits/ Reagents, HIV-DNA-PCR Kits for DNA Testing of Early Infant Diagnostics, Viral Load Kits, CD4 Machines and Viral Load Machines’. The importer will also have to produce a certificate that the goods are required for the National AIDS Control Programme funded by Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.

According to Reuters data, the AIDS control programme had been in disarray following the recent change in distribution of federal funds. Construction of clinics in rural areas was also delayed, with health workers eventually quitting. Lack of participation by local drug manufacturers, in procuring drugs as per the National AIDS Control Organisation tenders, made matters worse. In the meantime, Industry insiders cite delayed tender approvals, supply bottlenecks and late payments, as well as poor coordination between the central and state governments for the interruption.

Antiretroviral drugs sold in the open market are expensive, and the government is expected to add more drugs under cover of price control by including them in the national list of essential medicines to render them affordable.

Image Courtesy

Share your thoughts..

Related Stories

Private Bill For Marijuana Legalization In Parliament’s Winter Session

Medical Treatment

Dialysis, Pacemaker, Cancer Devices To Become Costlier With GST: Union Health Ministry

Children Living With HIV

As India Runs Out Of Live-Saving Drugs, Children Living With HIV Write A Letter To PM Narendra Modi

Heart Stents

A Lawyer’s Fight With Hospitals Has Led To A Decrease In Heart Stent Price By 400%

Mohalla Clinic

Touts Are Making It Difficult For Patients To Get Free Medicines From Mohalla Clinic

Mother Shot Dead By Son After She Refused To Give Money For Drugs

Latest on The Logical Indian

News

Hindutva Groups Call For A Rally In Support Of A Murderer, Halt The Lives Of 42 Lakh People

Awareness

In The Name Of Ram

News

51 Lakh Customers Duped Of Rs 7,035 Crore By PanCard Club; EOW To Probe

News

Delhi Govt. To Pay For Accident Victims Brought To Private Hospital Within Golden Hour

News

Violating EC Norms, PM Modi Does Roadshow After Casting Vote, Rahul Gandhi Gives Interview Ahead Of Polls

Videos

Chhattisgarh: When Mine Workers Came Together To Build A Hospital Of Their Own