THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: To regulate the prices of life saving drugs and to ensure there is no shortage of medicines, the distribution of medicines to the proposed Karunya community pharmacies of Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd (KMSCL) would be centralised.
KMSCL would float a tender to outsource the distribution of drugs from the warehouse so that there would be regular distribution to the pharmacies.
A government decision to start 30 pharmacies in the first phase in medical colleges, government and taluk hospitals are expected to be announced in the next Cabinet meeting.
As there is no master plan for the government hospitals in the state, pre-fabricated materials would be used for setting up the pharmacies. Several companies in the Gulf region are engaged in this business and nine of them expressed interest in establishing the pharmacies in Kerala. KMSCL managing director Biju Prabhakar said that the usage of pre-fabricated materials would help in shifting these units to other places during development of the hospitals. It is also cost effective and one unit can be completed in three weeks.
“One pharmacy can be set up at a cost of around Rs 30 lakh. The date of submitting expression of interest for the pharmacies has been extended to March 31,” Biju Prabhakar said.
The movement of drugs from the warehouse to the pharmacies would be in a centralised manner. The medicines needed by each pharmacy could be updated in the website which would be verified centrally and distributed from the warehouse.
The software for pharmacies had already been customised. It would be linked with all the pharmacies and monitored centrally.
According to Biju Prabhakar, no capital is needed for purchasing drugs. Medicines are supplied on credit and re-paid at regular intervals.
“The first pharmacy of KMSCL was started in Thiruvananthapuram Medical College and drugs worth Rs 3 crore were purchased. The same practice would be continued when more pharmacies start operating,” he said.
KMSCL is planning to set up 70 pharmacies across the state and 30 would come up in the first phase. As the purchase of medicines are directly from the drug companies, it could be sold at a rate 20 percent less than the market price.