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Pay us from online portal: Suppliers of meds to hospitals

The suppliers said that Haffkine Bio Pharmaceuticals, a public sector undertaking of the state government, which has been procuring drugs and medical equipment since 2017, doesn’t use the e-Aushadhi system.

mumbai Updated: Apr 27, 2019 05:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Mumbai
Suppliers of meds,online portal,e-Aushadhi
Over 150 major drug and medical equipment suppliers attached to medical colleges and its peripheral hospitals across the state have asked the government to implement the online billing system, e-Aushadhi.

Over 150 major drug and medical equipment suppliers attached to medical colleges and its peripheral hospitals across the state have asked the government to implement the online billing system, e-Aushadhi. Suppliers alleged that their payments have been delayed for months and that having an online portal will accelerate the payment process.

The suppliers said that Haffkine Bio Pharmaceuticals, a public sector undertaking of the state government, which has been procuring drugs and medical equipment since 2017, doesn’t use the e-Aushadhi system.

“Due to the absence of a universal web portal, we have to personally collect stock delivery receipts from hospitals across the state. Most of the times, these receipts are delayed and without them, we fail to recover our payments from Haffkine Bio-Pharmaceuticals,” said Abhay Pandey, president of All Food and Drugs License Holders Foundation (AFDLHF), a body of over 200 medicine and medical equipment suppliers in Maharashtra.

A senior official from medical education department said lack of online portal results in inaccurate data on available stock of medicines at the hospital and date and time of fresh stock arrival. “Often, hospitals buy medicines from local suppliers as they are unsure if the stock purchased through Haffkine will reach the hospital on time. This creates an excess in stocks and results in wastage of government funds,” said the official.

Dr TP Lahane, director, directorate of medical education and research, said they are considering introducing the app for procurement of drugs. “The app will be a part of the digitalisation of medical education department. It is likely that within two months, we will be doing the procurements through e-Aushadhi system,” he said.

The web portal was launched by the health department in 2014 to manage stock of various drugs and surgical items required by different district drug warehouses attached to its respective medical institutes. In a year, primary health centres and district hospitals across the state managed to save 20% of the medicine procurement cost by streamlining the process through the application.

First Published: Apr 27, 2019 05:09 IST