In a bid to ensure that patients are treated with good quality drugs, the state Health department is setting up a single body to purchase drugs for all public health facilities.
State Health Minister Suresh Shetty has ordered a 12-member apex committee, headed by state Health Secretary Sharvaree Gokhale, to monitor the purchase of drugs.
“The committee will be functional by May. Till then, we are buying only essential drugs,” said Shetty.
Currently, drugs are purchased at all levels — by state authorities, district health officers and sub-centres. This leaves ample scope for misuse of funds and purchase of sub-standard drugs from dealers. A local newspaper had reported that government officials were purchasing drugs and medical equipment at rates higher than the maximum retail price.
The members of the committee will include the secretaries of the Finance and Industries departments, a vigilance officer from the state Home department, a member of the Maharashtra Medical Council and a senior private practitioner.
The committee will buy only generic drugs, which are cheaper than branded drugs, directly from manufacturers.
Shetty said drugs will be stored at government warehouses in Jalna, Nagpur and Pune. “Officials from the Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration will test random samples and distribute them to hospitals and primary health centres once they are cleared.”