With drug management system across the hospitals in the State in a complete mess, which has been frequently leading to controversies and allegations of deaths due to administration of expired drugs, the State Government has finally moved to notify a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for storage, supply and disposal of medicines.
The SOP is aimed at streamlining the entire processes in a Government-run hospital right from indenting, procurement, storage, supply to departments or wards and proper disposal of expired ones.
It would also serve as a major objective of maximum utilisation of the drugs meant for free supply to patients and eliminating unnecessary indenting and stocking up, that result in wastage.
The Health and Family Welfare department has directed the authorities of the three medical college and hospitals along with the chief district medical officers and chief medical officers of the hospitals to ensure strict compliance to the SOP.
The SOP, in fact, would bring a sea change in drug management across hospitals by streamlining processes and effecting upgradation of systems. The stores will have to be modernised in compliance with best practice norms of drug storage and handling.
While the stores would be air-conditioned to maintain temperatures between 18 and 25 degrees at all times, they would keep drugs, containers, cartoons on elevated platforms in strict accordance to the instructions on them.
Laying emphasis on proper record keeping, the SOP has mandated that all incoming drugs would have to be segregated on the basis of batches and all outgoing ones would be on the basis of “first in, first expiry, first out” principle.
The focus is also high on immediate disposal and destruction of expired drugs by the store authorities in the hospitals. All forms of expired drugs tablets, capsules, liquid orals, injectable, ointments, large value parenteral like saline would have to be disposed of separately under procedures specified by the SOP. The disposal should take place in the presence of the Municipality Health Officer or his representative, medical officer in-charge and pharmacist of the stores. The segregation and disposal would be carried out on a quarterly basis.