Is it curtains for CMSD?
A RECENT Health Department order for drug companies to supply medicines directly to chief medical officers in the districts may pave the way for closure of the Central Medical Drug Store Department (CMSD).
The CMSD floats tenders and signs rate contract with companies for supply of drugs and equipment to hospitals across the State.
Each year, the Health Department spends over Rs 100 crore on purchase of drugs and equipment.
Earlier, companies and suppliers used to dump drugs and instruments at the CMSD stores in the State capital. Later, the consignment was dispatched to each district according to the indent sent by the CMOs.
But, according to the latest order, all the drug consignments are to be sent directly to CMOs.
According to the State drug purchase policy, the CMSD floated tenders for supply of drugs to various hospitals in the State. The firm which quoted the lowest rate was given a contract for supply. A one-year rate contract agreement was signed between the company and the CMSD.
In accordance with the policy, the CMOs got 80 percent of the budget to purchase drug and instruments under rate contract. The CMSD was allotted 20 percent of the budget. After the recent order, though the CMSD will float tenders and enlist companies to supply drugs, it will have no medicines in its store.
Principal secretary, Medical Health, Neeta Chaudhary said the decision to supply drugs directly to the CMOs was taken to end the role of intermediaries and check pilferage during transportation.
Once a consignment reached a district, the onus would be on the CMO to ensure availability of medicines in hospitals, she said.
Health Department officials said often there was either a scarcity in the districts, or drugs not required were dumped in CMOs’ stores. With implementation of the new order, there will be no crisis of life-saving drugs at hospitals in far-flung areas.