Drug stores’ closure at MKCG campus protested
The Brahmapur Tehsildar and the Drugs Inspector along with a team of officers jointly conducted a raid on four medicine stores recently and sealed all the four shops which were reportedly operating their business illegally in the MKCG Medical College campus.
There were allegations that these four shops were selling sub-standard medicines, outdated medicines, medicines without prescribed discount and at prices more than the MRP.
While the action of the district administration is appreciated by the patients and the local public, but the medicine shop owners led by former Brahmapur MLA Sibasankar Sahani have strongly protested such unilateral and arbitrary action of the district administration for sudden closure order of these private medicines shops in the Government Medical College campus without notice.
Member of the All Odisha Pharmacists’ Association Santosh Subudhi alleged that due to sudden closure of these four medicine stores in the MKCG Medical College campus, hundreds of patients who were asked to purchase medicines in odd hours are returning empty hand facing inconvenience in healthcare system.
Subudhi discussed the matter with Medical Superintendent Prof Charan Panda and requested him to reconsider the closure, sources said.
According to information available, some doctors who were in the paid list of these illegal medical stores were reportedly not prescribing medicines which were available in “Niramaya Kendra” of the concerned medical college and instead prescribe medicines available in these four medical stores. After closure of these illegal medical stores, now doctors have started advising to bring medicines from Niramaya Kendra. On the other hand, district Collector Premachand Choudhury categorically said that under any circumstances, the district administration will not allow any private medical store to operate illegally in the Medical College campus. Rather, we will put our best efforts to provide all useful medicines to patients through Niramaya Kendra, said Choudhury.
He further said that doctors were advised to prescribe more generic and popular medicines so that Niramay Kendra meets the needs optimally. Besides, patients can also avail the medicines from one HL Medical Store operating on PPP mode with licence and provides 24 hours service in the same medical campus. Government’s aim is to provide medicines to patients without any cost for which we are working, he added.
But in a recent development, the district administration seems to have changed its stand after the Ganjam-Phulbani Chemist and Druggist Association (GPCDA) reportedly intervened in the matter and threatened to lead an agitation by closing all the medicine shops in Ganjam district, if the interest of the medical shop owners is not protected.
This is evident from the fact that, after having a close-door discussion of GPCDA members with the Tahasildar, Sub-Collector and the Drug Inspector, the district administration has reportedly allowed the shop owners to open their shop as usual on certain preconditions, sources said.
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