The best way to know the self is feeling oneself at the moments of reckoning. The feeling of being alone, just with your senses, may lead you to think more consciously. More and more of such moments may sensitize ‘you towards you’, towards others. We become regular with introspection and retrospection. We get ‘the’ gradual connect to the higher self we may name Spirituality or God or just a Humane Conscious. We tend to get a rhythm again in life. We need to learn the art of being lonely in crowd while being part of the crowd. A multitude of loneliness in mosaic of relations! One needs to feel it severally, with conscience, before making it a way of life. One needs to live several such lonely moments. One needs to live severallyalone.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


Access to the affordable healthcare has to be a fundamental right if the human civilization is about ‘being human first’. The governments and the governance, be it the democracies or the autocracies, must be duty-bound to work towards this fundamental right because it is ultimately the people they get legitimacy from; they derive sanctity for their power from.

The Supreme Court of India’s decision to deny Novartis patent on its anti-cancer drug Glivec might be a technical decision based on patent legalities, but it is what needed to be practiced on a larger scale in order to provide people across the continent with affordable healthcare.

Millions cannot be allowed to die because they cannot afford the cost of the medicine when such medicines can be mass produced at much cheaper rates. Intellectual property rights are a legitimate concern but human lives cannot be held ransom to that. A dying human life is always an emergency situation and all rules and regulations become null and void in emergency situations.

The need to act becomes urgent in case of the life-threatening disorders like cancer or HIV/AIDS. The very fact that cancer and HIV/AIDS treatment and related scientific research to develop medicines are an ongoing process and a costly affair involving billions of dollars make the medicine (treatment availability) an exclusive domain of the big multinational pharmaceutical companies who invest initially in the research and development but recover the investment soon and reap huge and super-normal profits subsequently under protection of patent laws.

The world over, it cannot be said why, the pharmaceutical research is more or less handled by the private corporations, even in the richer countries. Governments or the scientists working for the governments do come up with the breakthroughs but they are mostly academic in nature. Here, the governments can pitch in to adopt the scientific breakthroughs to produce medicines at affordable rates in case of life threatening diseases or situations. But that doesn’t happen because such scientific breakthrough generally happen in rich countries like America, Japan, Canada or some of the European nations, all rich enough to afford the costly patented medicines of the Big Pharma. These capitalist economies treat the pharmaceutical sector as a private domain and follow the open market policy of minimum intervention.

No problem in doing that. No doubt the Capitalist model of development has effected many positive developments like bringing millions out of poverty. China and India are its good examples.

But, mere taking out of the poverty doesn’t solve the problem. Surviving on few dollars a day or Rs. 3000 a month cannot allow one to go for a cancer or antiretroviral medicine that costs thousands of dollars or over a Lakh rupee a month.

Countries or people of these countries cannot afford the high cost of the patented medicines of the Big Pharma. A report said that the patented Glivec is used by some 16,000 people in India while over 3,00,000 use its generic version which costs less than one-tenth of the patented version.

And it is a sad fact that millions are dying because of such abnormally high cost of the medicines; millions residing not in America, Canada, Japan or the rich European nations but in poor countries and regions like China, India, Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The one principal solution out of this labyrinth is taking proactive steps at regional and national levels to enact legislations to allow generic versions of patented medicines in case of life-threatening diseases and situations like cancer and HIV/AIDS.

Maximum number of the cancer and HIV/AIDS affected come from poor countries and regions. They depend on international funding to provide medicines free of cost or at subsidized rates. A slowing world economy is narrowing down the funding options to provide medicines free or at subsidized rates. There are debates and threats to resize the targeted population to cover. Generic versions of medicines is the only answer to this problems as it can multiply the number of people to be covered extending the life-saving medicines to millions more.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey -