Airlines price war
The growth of private airlines in Nepal, now operating on both the domestic and international routes, is a sign of rising market competition. But this sudden growth has also led to a price war. Obviously, when the monopoly of a few big players collapsed, the airline market became
competitive. The big loser in this was the RNAC. People went for cheaper tickets
offered by private airlines. These private carriers also provided other customer-friendly schemes. Hence, the competition in the aviation industry became akin to the instant noodles market.
If RNAC wishes to remain afloat amid such tough competition, it has to improve its policies. It cannot operate indefinitely with the kind of losses it has been incurring for the last few years. If this trend is not checked, RNAC will soon be bankrupt.
Niraj Bajra Bajrcharya, Tahiti
This refers to the editorial ‘Heinous act’ published in THT on July 11. The attacks in London have only added to the determination of the civilised world to fight terrorism. The
indiscriminate killing of innocent people can’t be justified on any ground.
The Nepalis too have not been spared the scourge of terrorism. The Maoists have time and again violated the rules of war and resorted to ‘terrorist’ activities. They should understand that viable political outcomes are seldom achieved through such violent means. They want the government to lift the terrorist tag. But they have done little to assure the people that they are working for the good of the country.
Sambat Sapkota, via e-mail
We read Dewan Rai’s write-up “Poor cure at a cost” in the Perspectives with great interest. The author’s effort to make the public aware of the variation in the price of drugs is admirable. The difference in the price of a drug, available in the market under different brands names, is not only confined to Nepal. A study in India has also shown considerable variations in costs of the same drug being sold with different brand names. In developed countries, once the patent period of a drug expires, it is available under its generic name. These drugs are cheaper as well.
Unfortunately, very few generic drugs are available in Nepal. A layman may have little knowledge of the different brands of the same drug. While registering a new drug, the Department of Drug Administration should ensure that its price is comparable to that of other brands in the market. There should be a definite mechanism to monitor the price of the drugs during the registration period. Those prescribing the drugs should also ensure that patients have access to quality drugs. The situation is compounded by the fact that most of the medicines are imported, predominantly from India. The situation is made even worse by the large number of counterfeit drugs in the market.
Information regarding the price variation in prescription drugs should be made available to those prescribing them and the patients. There are many variations of the same drug available in Nepali market. Such variations, both in the brand names and the prices, are unacceptable. Rai has taken a commendable first step in highlighting this pressing problem. I hope this is followed up with equally good reports on this topic.
Dr P Ravi Shankar and P Subish, Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara