Shortage of drugs: PHCs, Govt hospitals forced to buy medicines at higher price

Photo: AFP

Malappuram: With stock of drugs running short, government hospitals in the state are forced to buy medicines at increased price from private entities.

Paracetamol, Cetirizine and Amoxicillin, commonly prescribed for fevers, are obtained by government hospitals at a higher price. Medicines available at government hospitals at around Rs 5 to Rs 10 now cost around Rs 100-150.

Kerala Medical Service Corporation (KMSCL), a government entity, is entrusted to deliver medicines to hospitals. However, the shortage of stock in KMSCL and the delay in the timely issue of tender notice decreased the production and delivery to hospitals.

With the situation turning worse, the state government issued an order directing PHCs and hospitals to purchase medicines from Karunya, Jan-Oushadi, SupplyCo and Neethi Medical Stores. However, this has led to a steep increase in the price.

Around Rs 1.5 lakh is needed for buy medicines from outside to cover the needs of PHC in the state. In contrast, KMSCL distributed medicines to PHCs at a rate of Rs 15,000- 20,000. This shows a sudden spike in the amount of expense incurred by the state.

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