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Kerala: Govt hospitals, medical colleges hit by shortage of NCD drugs

Kochi: The Government and Medical College Hospitals (MCH), in the state seem to be combating a paucity of non communicable disease(NCD) drugs in a big way. The Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd (KMSCL) officials have admitted to this  shortfall in the supply of NCD medicines. A few being -Glempride and Metformin for management of diabetes, Atorvastatin for cholesterol, and Amilodipine for blood pressure.

Some pharmacies are also pointing at shortages of allergy and antibiotic drugs.

A doctor at a Kochi hospital told the Hindu that many a time when a first was not available at the hospital pharmacy, the doctors prescribed another drug; but to the disappointment of patients even the second was sometimes not available, leaving no option to the patient, but to buy from the outside vendor. It has been noticed that if a doctor prescribes five medicines, the patient finds only two available at the government hospital pharmacy.

What is to be kept in mind is that those who come to government hospitals for long term treatment have to seek medication from outside then the purpose of being at a government medical college hospital is negated, as medicine purchases from outside vendors is an expensive affair.

According to the KMSCL officials it is the patients who come for long term treatment of NCDs that upset the demand and supply chain of the hospital. Medicine purchases are made according to the annual indent of medicines for each hospitals, though there are budget restrains too.

It is believed that medicine shortages have been prevailing for the past three months. Though the KMSCL claimed that medicines were being distributed in accordance with schedule. The last stock of 25% being distributed in January.The KMSCL put the onus of responsibility for medicine shortages on the hospital development committee, who they felt was responsible for alternative arrangements  in case of short supply reports the Hindu.

It is up to the hospital development committees to make arrangements in case of medicine short supply.

Source: with inputs
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