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India Should End Mass Sterilization, More Strongly Regulate Pharmaceutical Industry

New York Times: India’s Lethal Birth Control
Editorial Board

“…India persists in a cruel strategy of bringing down birthrates through mass female sterilization. … Thirteen women died shortly after undergoing tubal ligations on Nov. 8, in what in India is called a ‘sterilization camp.’ … Faced with public outrage, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered an investigation into what caused the sickening and deaths of so many women this time. The victims’ families were immediately paid compensation. … India’s poor women have a right to informed reproductive choices, and to medical care that meets minimum standards. Mr. Modi should call for an immediate end to mass sterilization of poor women, provide men and women with the means to make educated reproductive choices, and invest in fixing a dysfunctional health system” (11/20).

The Hill: India’s dangerous medicine industry
Dinesh Thakur, executive chair of Medassure Global Compliance Corporation; Roger Bate, American Enterprise Institute visiting scholar; and Amir Attaran, professor in the Faculties of Law and Medicine at the University of Ottawa

“A tragedy is unfolding in Bilaspur, India, where [at least 13] women have died as a result of complications from sterilization procedures. The use of substandard drugs is one of the reasons for the deaths. … This case provides a concrete example of the consequences of poor quality drugs in an acute care setting: it needs to be studied, not swept under the carpet. … The Indian pharmaceutical industry wields enormous power, and policy makers often subscribe to its point-of-view without fully appreciating the damage it is causing to the industry’s — and the country’s — reputation. … The regulatory mechanism in India that governs drugs needs immediate attention … Without … changes, we cannot be sure drugs made in India are safe…” (11/19).

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