With the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research having taken steps to set up its own drug store on the premises, medicines will soon be available at almost half the prices prevailing at local chemist shops.
At the last meeting of PGI’s governing body held in November, the health ministry had instructed the institute to open a pharmacy within six months, following which the latter set up a committee to speed up the process. The panel, headed by Dr Arvind Rajwanshi, includes deputy PGI director Chetan PS Rao and financial advisor Sushil Thakur besides other faculty members.
A senior PGI official associated with the project, who wished not be identified, said the principal aim of the initiative was to stop patients being fleeced by chemists and provide medicines at affordable prices.
“With 2,000 in-house patients and another 10,000 visiting the OPD on an average every day, medicines are sold in huge numbers at PGI. Hence we’ve decided to buy drugs in bulk directly with manufacturers. This will bring down prices drastically. For starters only one drug store will be opened and, if it’s a success, all the privately run chemist shops will be replaced with our own pharmacies,” he added.
According to sources, the committee has already studied the models of three institutes –Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, CMC, Vellore and Tata Memorial Centre, Mumbai – that operate their own chemist shops.
They added the PGI pharmacy will be cooperative venture of employees.
Presently there are 18 chemist shops situated on the PGI premises, notching sales of over Rs 30 crore every year.
Each store is bound to offer a 15% discount on branded medicines and a 30% discount on surgical items and generic drugs.
Earlier last year, on the orders of the institute’s governing body, PGI officials had opened a chemist shop that was auctioned for a nominal rent of Rs 20,000 a month on the condition that it would offer a discount of at least 57% on every medicine or surgical item that it sold.