BHUBANESWAR: Even as the State Government launched free drug distribution scheme Niramaya and spent over Rs 200 crore last year, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has indicated discrepancies in making medicines available for patients.
Odisha is among 24 states where instances of non-availability of essential drugs were observed. In eight of these states, essential medicines, consumables like contraceptive pills, ORS packets, drugs for Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)/Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) and essential obstetric kits were not available in selected health facilities.
In 14 states including Odisha, medicines were issued to patients without ensuring the prescribed quality checks and without observing the expiry period of drugs, thus exposing the patients to health risks.
The audit also noticed instances of non-availability of drugs like Paracetamol, B-complex and Albendazole as per Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS).
“In five out of seven District Headquarters Hospitals (DHHs) and four out of 21 Community Health Centres (CHCs), due to delay in testing and receipt of test reports from State Drug Management Unit (SDMU), 29 types of Not of Standard Quality (NSQ) drugs worth Rs 11.79 lakh were administered to patients during 2011-16,” the CAG found.
The audit report tabled in the Parliament recently mentioned that medicines worth Rs 70.93 lakh from nine suppliers received during 2006-16 were declared NSQ. Though SDMU intimated the suppliers for replacement of these medicines within 15 to 243 days, drugs were not replaced till July 2016.
Similarly, in six out of seven sample districts, NSQ drugs worth Rs 53.83 lakh were lying unused as of July 2016 in central store of districts and CHCs without replacement.
The SDMU had not instructed Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs) to return the NSQ drugs to the suppliers. Due to lapses on the part of SDMU to enforce provisions of the drugs management policy, Rs 53.83 lakh became wasteful, the audit observed.
For standardising the clinical and management processes at facility level, each health facility is required to document and implement the standard operating procedures (SOPs). In 10 states, including Odisha, shortfall of facilities having SOPs ranged between 75 and 96 per cent.
In six States - Assam, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal, 14 instances of misuse of the completed health facilities like unauthorised occupation by gram panchayats, anti-social elements and private persons were also observed by the CAG.