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No generic drug stores in six out of nine govt medical college hospitals in Bihar

Patients in Bihar are having a difficult time procuring generic drugs as six of the nine government medical colleges in the state do not have generic drug stores on their campuses.

Updated: Sep 03, 2018 15:16:57

By Ruchir Kumar

Six out of nine government medical college hospitals in Bihar do not have generic drug stores on their campus. (Image used for representative purposes) (Mint File Photo )

The state government advisory to its doctors a month back to prescribe generic medicines has left patients in a quandary because of difficulty in procuring them in absence of generic drug stores on campuses of most medical college hospitals.

The Patna Medical College Hospital (PMCH) in the state capital, Darbhanga Medical College Hospital (DMCH) in Darbhanga, Anugrah Narayan Magadh Medical College Hospital (ANMMCH) in Gaya, Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, Vardhaman Institute of Medical Sciences (VIMS) in Pawapuri (Nalanda), and the Government Medical College Hospital in Bettiah are among those that do not have generic medicine stores on their hospital campuses.

The state government has obviously taken lightly the Centre’s order to open at least one generic drugs store on its hospital campus under the Pradhan Mantri Bharatiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra programme.

To add to the patients’ woes, the health department, in its order on July 27, asked its doctors to prescribe generic drugs. It also advised them to prescribe to patients medicines mentioned under the essential drug list (EDL) of the state government.



In keeping with the government order, some doctors have begun prescribing generic drugs. The patients are, however, having a difficult time procuring generic drugs, as six of the nine government medical colleges in the state do not have generic drug stores on their campuses.

Sample this. A girl, whose identity has been withheld on request, was prescribed a generic Miconazole cream, in the outdoor patient department (OPD) unit of Dr RKP Choudhary, professor and head, skin and venereal diseases department, PMCH, on August 29. However, she was unable to get the anti-fungal cream to treat ‘pityriasis’ (tenia versicolor), a skin condition that causes either lightening or darkening of the skin of the neck, chest, arms or legs.

Another girl, requesting anonymity, said she was prescribed Diplomax (generic name Clobetasol, Salicylic acid) at the PMCH for her skin condition, but the drug was unavailable either under the EDL of the state government or by its generic composition.

“I searched for the ointment on GM Road and the Ashok Rajpath after the same was unavailable in the hospital formulary, but I could not find the medicine. This is affecting my skin care,” she said.  

The PMCH cancelled the contract of the generic store on its campus some 6-8 months ago. “An inquiry committee of doctors found during inspection that the store was selling proprietary drugs, instead of generic ones,” said PMCH deputy superintendent Dr Ranjit Kumar Jamaiyar.

The hospital has since not made any alternate arrangement to make available generic drugs to patients. “We have written to the health department, seeking clearance to appoint another firm for the generic store on the hospital campus, but instructions are awaited,” said Dr Jamaiyar.

DMCH superintendent Dr Raj Ranjan Prasad said that the pre-fabricated structure housing the generic store on its hospital campus was shut 2-3 years back.

Dr Vijay Krishna Prasad, ANMMCH superintendent, claimed that though generic store was not available, most medicines under EDL were available in his hospital formulary as most other medical colleges in the state.

SKMCH superintendent Dr Sunil Kumar Shahi said that site selection has been done for the proposed generic store, next to the emergency, but work was yet to commence.

VIMS-Pawapuri, principal Dr JK Das and GMC-Bettiah superintendent Dr Dhirendra Kumar Singh said they neither had a generic store on their hospital campus nor had they received any communication from the department to open one.

Principal secretary, health, Sanjay Kumar said there were 132 generic drugs stores across the state. “Of the 38, only four districts - Darbhanga, Lakhisarai, Sheohar and Sheikhpura - do not have such stores. We are going to ask all government medical colleges and hospitals to earmark space for such stores, which will be set up soon.”

First Published: Sep 03, 2018 15:16:57

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