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Showing posts from November 29, 2018

RBI Autonomy — With Accountability

It is in the interest of the government and the nation to respect RBI’s functional autonomy, as happened at the last RBI board meeting. RBI autonomy came up when RBI governor Urjit Patel testified before Parliament’s standing committee on finance. It is important for all stakeholders to view and appreciate institutional autonomy in the right spirit. When the financial crisis struck in 2008, central bank autonomy, whether statutory or traditional, did not come in the way of governments, central banks and regulators of companies, insurance and stock markets working together to bail out banks, insurers and large companies, in several mature economies. Even when crisis is absent, the interconnected global economy, with its ability to send trillions of dollars of liquidity sloshing this unpredictable way or that, makes constant consultation and cooperation among the multiple nodes of fiscal and regulatory decision-making essential.  India has a partially open capital account, and large amou…

Govt Plans Database of Drugs to Prevent Use of Similar Brand Names

The government is considering a databank for all medicine brands to prevent pharmaceutical companies from using the same or similar looking and sounding brand names for drugs, especially those used to treat different conditions, senior officials close to the development said. The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the country’s highest drug advisory body, will discuss a mechanism to this effect at its meeting on Thursday because the problem is extensive and spread across the country, they told ET. A 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Clinical Practice had found that more than 10,000 medicine brands in India were either similar looking or similar sounding. What is even more alarming, an industry insider said, is that in some instances, the same brand name has even been used to market formulations used to treat different conditions altogether. For instance, the brand ‘Medzole’ has been used to market at least four different kinds of medications, including an antifungal, an…