Maharashtra Government would set up a chain of medical shops across the state that would sell cheap and generic medicines to people from the lower income group, the Legislative Council was informed today.
The Government will also “positively consider” providing subsidy for life-saving drugs so that they are not out of reach of the needy people, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Girish Bapat said.
Currently, NGOs and private institutions buy generic medicines and make them available for those having BPL cards.
But now the Government will procure these drugs and make them available for the poor, he said.
“The Government will buy generic medicines and also make them available to people through a chain of shops to be set up across the state,” he said while replying to a calling attention motion.
Speaking on the motion, Sanjay Dutt (Congress) raised the issue of spurious medicines being sold to patients in the state.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is unable to keep a check on all shops as many posts in the department are lying vacant.
“When the FDA conducted a surprise check on 281 Government hospitals and healthcare centres and examined around 2,000 medicines, it found that 335 of these medicines were spurious,” Dutt said.
He said “12.36 per cent of the medicines coming in the state from Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Karnataka were found to be of low quality. Consumption of these drugs would have disastrous effect on patients. But FDA is not being able to keep a watch on incoming medicines as they are understaffed.”