Jammu: Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Monday stressed on setting up of government drug stores in all the districts to ensure qualitatively authentic medicines at the affordable prices to the people.
â€œThere should be provisions under the State Drug Policy for establishing and running of such drug stores competently for the larger benefits of general public especially the poorâ€, he said.
Chairing a high level meeting here to take stock of the various aspects of the Draft Dug Policy formulated by the health and medical education department, the Chief Minister said that the policy should be urgently placed before the Cabinet for review and approval.
The Chief Minister directed for constitution of a Committee under the Chief Secretary to formulate a comprehensive scheme for establishment of drug stores in the State for supplying low cost, high quality generic medicines to the people universally.
Omar Abdullah said that his government has flagged health sector as one of the most important sectors in the government policy. He said a befitting drug policy taking care of all aspects of procurement of quality medicines and its supply was the need of hour. â€œSoon the policy is approved and put in place, it will be better for the public as well as the health and medical education departmentâ€, he said.
The Chief Minister emphasizing the importance of procurement of quality medicines as per the requirement in the hospitals, highlighted the need for strengthening the drug laboratories in the State so that drug analysis and tests of National and International standards are carried out in these laboratories. â€œGovernment is concerned about checking the sale and supply of spurious and sub-standard medicines in the market and in this connection a unified approach has to be evolved involving all the stake holders in fieldâ€, he asserted.
The meeting was attended by the Minister for Health, Sham Lal Sharma, Minister for Medical Education, R. S. Chib, Minister of State for Health, Javid Ahmad Dar, Chief Secretary, S. S. Kapur, Principal Secretary to Health and Medical Education, R. K. Jearth, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas, Commissioner Secretary Finance, Sudhanshu Pandey, Director SKIMS, Prof. Abdul Hamid Zargar, Principals of Medical Colleges, Jammu and Srinagar, Directors of Health Service, Kashmir and Jammu, Drug Controller and other senior officers.
Officer on Special Duty in Health and Medical Education Department, Dr. Shafkat Khan gave a detailed PowerPoint presentation of the Draft Dug Policy and explained the aims and objectives of the policy.
The draft drug policy among other things provide for the process of procurement and supply of essential medicines as defined by the World Health Organization taking care of the health needs of the people. It also provides for an essential drug list, quality assurance, prompt accessibility and availability of drugs at affordable prices, safety and efficiency of medicines, selection of essential medicines, procurement of generic drugs, setting up of Jan Asudhi Drug stores, management of materials and inventory control, sales and storage, quality assurance and regularization, monitoring for rational use of drugs, promoting rational use of drugs, creation of drug information centers, Pharmaco-vigilance at hospital levels, human resources development, monitoring and evaluation.
It was states that the health department under the new drug policy intends to open four drug stores in the State where generic drugs would be provided to the people on reasonable and affordable costs. These stores have been proposed at SMHS Hospital, Srinagar, Government Hospital, Gandhi Nagar and one each at Leh and Kargil in the beginning while in all the districts subsequently.
Under the new drug policy drug information centers in the Government Medical College, Srinagar and Jammu have also been envisaged besides annual publication of a State level formulary in line with the World Health Organization and National norms. This publication would be distributed to all qualified prescribers free of cost or on subsidized rates.