Punjab health minister Surjit Kumar Jyani has directed drug inspectors and chemists in the state to ensure the availability of essential and generic drugs at the rates fixed by the government.
Issuing fresh guidelines to drug inspectors, the minister said various steps had been taken by the state government to improve health services and checking the soaring prices of the generic medicines was among its top priorities. He reiterated the strong resolve of the government to ensure quality health care system.
Jyani directed chemists to make the essential medicines available according to the guidelines of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, which had recently issued a notification fixing the uniform prices of the generic and essential medicines across the country. He said that according to the latest guidelines, the prices of the medicines would be reduced by up to 50%.
He also asked drug inspectors to conduct surprise checks on medicine, drug retailers and wholesalers to ensure the accessibility of essential medicines in keeping with the guidelines of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority of India.
He said that regarding price control of drugs, the nexus between drug manufacturers, drug inspectors, chemists, medical representatives and doctors must be broken.
The spokesman termed the fleecing of the patients by chemists in the name of expensive medicines, a “daylight robbery of poor patients by some largescale and small scale manufacturers, especially by non-scheduled generic drug manufacturers.” He said that unfortunately the manufacturers had made it a habit to display an inflated MRP on the labels of the generic drugs, blown up by several times their original costs.