Expect cheaper medicines as PGI plans to open pharmacy

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 10:40 IST

To check fleecing by chemists, the administration of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, is very near to start its own pharmacy.

According to sources, a highpowered committee formed to set up the institute-run pharmacy met on Thursday under the chairmanship of Dr Arvind Rajwanshi. Other members of the committee include PGI’s deputy director (administration) Chetan PS Rao and financial adviser Sushil Thakur, besides other faculty members.

The committee recently visited three institutes – Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow; CMC, Vellore and Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai – to study the model being followed by them to operate their own chemist shops. The committee decided that the most suitable model was found to be that of SGPGI, Lucknow.

According to the report prepared by the committee, the pharmacy will sell each medicine after putting only 10% administrative charges on the procurement cost of the medicine. “We will procure medicines at quite a large scale, so we are sure that prices will come down by at least 50% even more in some cases,” said Dr Arvind Rajwanshi, chairman of the committee.

The institute has also decided that the pharmacy will be run by setting up a hospital revolving fund of `50 crore, which will come directly from union health ministry. The money will be returned to the government once the pharmacy starts generating revenue.

The staff of around 80 people will be hired, including a battery of pharmacists, accountants, hospital attendants and clerks, purchase and procurement officers.

The project will be executed in three phases. In the first phase, it will start with one shop located inside the Nehru Hospital, where the patients will pay and get medicines. The institute plans to open at least 10 sale counters.

In the second phase, the shops will be opened in other centres of the institute, such as OPD, Advanced Cardiac Centre, Advanced Eye Centre etc and all the indoor patients’ accounts will be linked to the pharmacy online, from where they will get the medicines and the money will be automatically deducted.

In the final phase, the OPD doctors will be linked to the pharmacy online and they will send prescriptions online and patients will get their medicines bag ready at the pharmacy.

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