Healthcare Delivery Public Health

The new Measles eradication campaign in Indian Public Health space

(Image Source: CDC)
After declaring and winning the war against polio, the Indian public health administration has declared war on Measles.

Measles is a viral disease which kills about a million people a year. Out of the million almost 90 % are children. In India the statistics is very alarming as almost 500 children die daily because of Measles infection. This is mostly due to non availability of the vaccines in most Indian states with the coverage ranging from 60-50 % in most states. All this data is available on the .

The new Measles eradication program is planning to do just that increasing the coverage of the vaccines to a 100%.

But unlike the Pulse polio campaign, which had heavy celebrity endorsement from the likes of Amitabh Bachchan the Measles eradication program has gotten off to a very sedate start.

Firstly there is no celebrity endorsement this time. Secondly unlike the Polio campaign there will be no door to door visits by volunteers. Instead there is an expectation on the part of the parents to take the children to the schools which will serve as primary eradication centers.

In an earlier piece I had asked for coupling of Primary care centers with schools to ensure better coverage of the population and utilization of the public infrastructure. Please read the article here

The failure or success of this program would depend on the motivation levels of the parents of the children which is a big challenge especially in those below poverty line.

The North Indian state of Haryana had taken a state wide initiative in late 2010 to eradicate measles. It had launched a special team of 400 volunteers to cover all the districts of the state. The success of this campaign is also yet to be assessed.

India lags even neighbors like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on Measles eradication programs. In the coming months I will be doing an analysis of this programs to get some idea on the outcomes.

Healthcare Delivery Public Health

Is Pfizer’s loss is Ranbaxy’s gain: The Billion Dollar Lipitor question

Way back when I was in B school the burning question in the Indian pharmaceutical industry was the expiring patents of the global pharmaceutical companies. The top among the list was Lipitor the anti hypertensive drug that was fuelling most of Pfizer’s revenues.

Lipitor was the first drug to exceed $10 billion a year in sales, and accounted for almost one-quarter of Pfizer’s revenue in the last decade. But all that has changed once Lipitor comes off the paptent list on November 30th. This allows companies like Ranbaxy to launch the gheneric version of Lipitor with a

Healthcare Delivery Public Health

Healthcare Insurance in India: Cigna all set to enter the game

(Image source:

Healthcare Insurance sector in India is set for exciting times with the proposed entry of US based Healthcare giant Cigna. Cigna based in Bloomfield Connecticut has revenues of close to $19 billion globally. To enter India Cigna has formed a joint venture with India based TTK Healthcare which was founded in the 1920’s. TTK healthcare is already present in the Healthcare insurance as a third party administrator a business they would have to close down in order to formalize this JV.

Only 10% of Indians are covered by Insurance of any kind. Almost 2% are covered by private insurers and 8% through state and central government schemes. So there are almost 90% of the people without insurance in the Indians Healthcare market and they mostly pay for healthcare expenses from their private pockets.

For the US private healthcare insurers are sometimes blamed for the spiraling healthcare costs. But one has to wonder if the entry of private insurers in India will do the same?

Recently my wife availed her company sponsored private insurance for the birth of our first child. The total bill was more than that we would have to pay if we had paid from pocket.

So the question is does India need Private Healthcare Insurance ? Can we afford it?