The roll-out of an SMS service that provides information on common medications in New Delhi may inspire other countries to follow suit.
According to business-stardard.com, if they send a text to the dedicated hotline, consumers will be able to receive information on well-known brands selling a certain drug. For example, if they wanted to purchase some paracetamol, they’d be given details of the major brands selling it and the prices they put on it.
If no alternatives to the specified drug are available, a response stating ‘no alternative suggested’ will simply be sent.
To be monitored by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), the SMS scheme will help prevent overcharging of common medicines and help make consumers more aware of the options available to them – something which might interest healthcare authorities throughout the world.
A representative of the scheme commented: “Our intention is to offer an SMS-based scheme that will enable patients to know the cheaper alternative medicines available.
“There are a number of medicine brands available in the market with the same medicament composition, but in a wide variation of prices.”
New Delhi’s government aims to having the scheme up and running within the next few months and, depending on its success, institutions such as Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) may end up creating their own similar service. After all, local health bodies around the UK are already utilising SMS to their advantage – such as in the Wirral, where SMS alerts are sent to patients each winter-time, reminding them to book an appointment for their flu jab, connectingforhealth.nhs.uk reports.