BARIPADA: AT a time when the Government is trying to make the prescription of generics compulsory, the Prime Minister’s Jan Aushadhi Yojana is in the limelight once again due to non-availability of medicines at Jan Aushadhi Kendra in Pandit Raghunath Murmu (PRM) Government Medical College and Hospital (MCH) in Mayurbhanj district.
Though the State Government had opened Jan Aushadhi store in the hospital to provide cheaper and generic medicines to the people, the scheme has turned out to be a failure due to short supply of drugs. As a result, patients are being forced to purchase the medicines from private drug stores.
Jan Aushadhi counter located on the hospital premises opens twice a day from 9 am to 12 noon and from 5 pm to 7.30 pm. As per guidelines, more than 500 varieties of drugs have been listed for public under Jan Aushadhi scheme and are supplied by by Odisha State Medical Corporation (OSMC), but hardly 150 to 160 categories are available at the counter. Not even a single life-saving drug is available in the store. Thousands of people from neighbouring West Bengal and Jharkhand are also visiting the hospital.
Hadibandhu Singh, a diabetes patient, hoped that the Government-run medical store, which is supposed to sell medicines at an affordable price, much lower than the market price, will be able to provide him the medicines he required. However, he found out that the store has not stocked any of the medicines mentioned in his prescription. A disappointed Singh says he cannot afford to buy the medicines from private stores.
Debasish Dash, a resident of Baripada town, said the patients are forced to purchase medicines from private drug stores or change their prescriptions. “When a patient does not get the required medicine, the doctor is left with no option but to revert to prescribing old or branded medicine,” he said.
Contacted, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) Pradeep Das Mohapatra said after launching of Niramaya to provide free drugs to the people by the State Government, it has been noticed that the demand for Jan Aushadhi drugs is fast deceasing. However, he admitted that short supply of medicines to Jan Aushadhi counter has led to the crisis. “Though we had urged Odisha State Medical Corporation to supply Jan Aushadhi drugs immediately, no action has been taken so far,” the CDMO said.