THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The first pilot outlet of the Karunya Community Pharmacy network, intended to bring down the price of essential drugs, would become functional from Thursday at the Medical College here. CM Oommen Chandy would inaugurate the project.
At a press conference held in this connection, Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited managing director Biju Prabhakar said the medicines would not be sourced from the distributors but directly from the manufacturers. “The bulk discount that comes from this would drastically bring down prices and this can be extended to the people,” he said.
Biju Prabhakar said that elaborate studies on the movement of drugs, identifying fast-moving as well as slow-moving drugs and speciality drugs were carried out in order to identify the areas where government intervention was needed to regulate the prices. Though Karunya’s first counter would be a makeshift arrangement at the Medical College, it would still be highly sophisticated with the best facilities for temperature and humidity control as well as quality control. While the Women and Child Hospital at Thycaud would get the next counter, as many as 30 such counters are expected to be opened in 3 to 6 months. Rural counters would be set up soon, the first of which would come up at Kallara by next month-end. The counters would work round-the-clock, under CCTV surveillance and would be connected to the head office. The Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) and the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation (GIFT) were part of the initiative with CUSAT preparing a detailed report on the project and GIFT studying how tax relaxations would affect prices of essential drugs.