BHUBANESWAR: Unable to afford the cost of chemotherapy, cancer patient Dipti Das (name changed) was battling with the deadly disease for the last couple of months. But with the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) opening an outlet for Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT), Das can now avail chemotherapy at a cheap rate. Das said doctors had advised her to take six chemos in as many months before planning for radiation. As the cost of each chemo ranged from Rs 9,000 to Rs 12,000, she could not afford it.
The AMRIT outlet, opened two days back, came to her rescue. The chemo is being charged Rs 2,500 and she is assured to get the same drug for next five months at affordable price.
AIIMS Superintendent Dr DK Parida said the outlet will facilitate cost-effective purchase of high-end drugs for cardiac patients, stents, medical equipment and orthopaedic implants besides chemotherapy medicines and other general drugs.
'The primary goal of AMRIT is to make available and accessible all drugs, implants and surgical disposables that are not dispensed free of cost by hospitals, at a reduced price of 40 per cent to 60 per cent than the market rate,’’ he said.
At present, the AMRIT pharmacy is providing around 200 types of medicines, chemos, stents and implants. However, it will keep on increasing the stock and add more medicines to its list gradually.
Though the outlet will be formally dedicated by Union Health Minister next month, it was opened on demand for the benefit of patients who suffer due to high market price of life saving drugs.
Dr Parida said since it is an innovative initiative that runs on an IT-enabled system, the medicines and implants will be provided based on prescriptions from doctors. "We are also planning to start radiation services here in next six months,’’ he added.