In India, people continue to have high financial burden on essential medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases.
Large portion of health expenses in many middle and low income countries is mainly due to high cost of medicines. According to a study by the University of Chicago, the financial burden is mainly due to the expenses on medicines used for the treatment of cardiovascular ailments like hypertension, hyperlipidemia (increased cholesterol levels), and coronary heart diseases in India.
‘Medicines being an 'essential life savior' cause high financial burden to the Indians. High out of pocket cost could push away as many as 17 million rural people and 10 million urban people below the poverty line.’
Although medicines serve as an essential life savior in the treatment of various diseases, they seem to be responsible for causing significant financial burden to millions of people in India making them even more economically weak.
According to the data collected by the National Sample survey (NSS) in the year 2011-2012. Cardiovascular medications benefit as many as 170 million Indian people taking into account both the rural as well as the urban adult population. Out of which around 45 million people in rural areas and 30 million in urban areas are finding it difficult to afford for medicines.
High out of pocket cost on cardiovascular medicines could push as many as 17 million rural people and 10 million urban Indians below poverty line. This number increases the poverty line by 3.2% in the cities and about 2% in rural areas. If majority of 75% of the 170 million people tend to buy medicines out of their pocket it would definitely affect and make medicines unaffordable for 13 million people in the rural areas and 7 million in the cities resulting in impoverishment.
The study was based on the findings on Financial Burden and Impoverishment due to Cardiovascular Medications in Low and Middle Income Countries: an Illustration from India and was done by Professor Kiran Pandey and Professor David Meltzer from University of Chicago.