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HindustanTimes Sat,22 Nov 2014

No thermometer to monitor price temp

Siddhartha Rai and Siddarth Banerjee, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, March 14, 2013
First Published: 19:20 IST(14/3/2013) | Last Updated: 19:21 IST(14/3/2013)

There is no mechanism within the PGIMER to rationalise the actual retail prices of medicines and surgical items, apart from ensuring discounts of 15% to 30% as per terms and conditions associated with allotment of shops on the campus.

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Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar confirmed this.

Sources revealed that Techno Medical Services Pvt Ltd (TMS), which markets ‘Romsons’ products in Chandigarh, had proposed to the GMCH-32 authorities to sell medical items like IV sets for as low as Rs. 9 if given a chance to run a pharmacy on the hospital premises. Company sources said they could earn a healthy profit at even this low retail price, and also ensure the hospital enough revenue at the same time.   Confronted on the matter, GMSH-16 medical superintendent Dr Rajiv Vadehra first tried to evade the question as to whether a particular brand of surgical instrument was needed for better treatment. "Go and ask the doctor who has prescribed the surgical instruments. He will tell you why he ordered for a particular brand. I am no surgeon and cannot comment on it; why should I?"

A PGIMER doctor, who did not wish to be named, said, "Doctors never prescribe a  particular brand; we are doctors, not marketing executives. It would be unethical." Saurabh Gupta, the owner of a Sector 11 shop, confirmed this practice.

‘Have no other option’
Mubaseer, a 12-year-old from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, had come with his father, Mursaleem, to the PGIMER for a nose reconstruction surgery. Talking to HT, Mursaleem said he buys medicines from shops on the PGI campus and Khudda Lahora village. He said the price difference was too high. “In the case of medicines that I buy for my son, it varies from Rs. 500 to 700.”

He said patients had no other option but to buy the medicines being sold at higher prices. “Where else would I look in case of an emergency.”

Shocking numbers
As one goes to different shops in PGI, one finds difference in prices of medicines and surgical items. The steepest fall in prices, however, is when one moves out of the campus itself. Here are the comparative figures:
 
Trilok Medicals, advanced trauma centre, PGI
Article  MRP     Actual retail price       Discount
BT set    R110      R50         54.54%
IV set    R90         R50         44.44%
Cannula                R81         R50         39%
AAR Medicos, new OPD block, PGI
BT set    R78         R44         43.6%
IV set    R70         R50         28.5%
Cannula                R81         R50         38.3%
Family Chemists, Sector 11, Chd
BT set    R78         R31.20   60%
IV set    R70         R24.50   65%
Cannula                R81         R23.50   71%
HOSPITAL MEDICAL AND SURGICAL STORE, GMSH-16
BT set    R78         R20         74.35%
IV set    R75         R18         76%
Cannula                R72         R36         50%
Shubh Sidh Medical Store, Khudda Lahora village
BT set    R78         R20         74.5%
IV set    R70         R10         85%
Cannula                R81         R15         81.5%
Anil Chemists, Sector 6,  panchkula
BT set    R61         R25         59%
IV set    R70         R25         64.28%
Cannula                R65         R40         38.5%
SAS Nagar civil hospital
BT set    R78         R30         63.1%
IV set    R90         R20         77.7%
Cannula                NA          NA          NA

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