As Western markets creak under the combined weight of regulation and an aging population, ever greater numbers of people are turning to developing countries to get the health care services that they want. No longer are they willing to put up with the high prices of drugs in their country of origin or the poor quality of service and care.
One of the main drivers of the rise of medical tourism to India are laws protecting the sale of generic drugs. Unlike in Western markets, patients in India don’t have to absorb all of the research and development costs involved in drug development. Instead, they get access to generic medicines which typically have a much lower price.
According to MEDEMBASSY, a leading healthcare provider in the country, the price and quality of medicinal products on offer in India are a major reason why medical tourists are now flocking to the country. They say that there’s a growing acceptance that the subcontinent can provide drugs with the “safety, effectiveness, quality, function” that patients want, with the generic variants being almost identical to more costly patented drugs abroad. The quality of generic medicines is now so high in the country that they are being exported all over the world to places like Africa and Southeast Asia.
MEDEMBASSY is now using the low price of harvoni, a hepatitis C drug, to attract medical tourists. The treatment is much lower in price, thanks to intellectual property laws in India designed to make sure that more people can overcome this potentially life-threatening disease. MEDEMBASSY says that the price of their drugs is so much lower than the price of similar drugs in countries like the US that people are choosing to travel to India instead, despite their reservations.
What’s so interesting about the Indian experience is just how much better the quality of healthcare is in the country compared to what people expect. As MEDEMBASSY points out, the country now offers world class facilities, highly trained doctors and a wide range of different hospitals with different specialisms, just as you might expect in any Western country. Hospitals are cleaner than you’d find in most places too, and staff have a passion for service. MEDEMBASSY insists that the quality of medical technology in Indian hospitals is often far in excess of that found in hospitals in Britain, the US, France or Germany.
According to the health provider’s estimates, the low cost of surgery is the biggest draw to the region. Costs many procedures are about a tenth of what you’d expect to pay in developed countries. According to the clinic’s research, procedures like spinal infusion surgery or angioplasty can cost anywhere between $100,000 and $270,000 in the US. In India, it’s far less.
As a specialist in liver disease treatment, MEDEMBASSY is offering these same cut prices to its customers on a daily basis. But it also warns that patients need to pay attention to the risks of traveling abroad for healthcare. Click here for more information.
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