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Times of India
16 May 2011
By Koride Mahesh
Hyderabad, India

Only 1 Generic Drug Outlet Opened At OGH
No Takers for Cheap Drugs at Govt Hospitals
Despite the state government’s direction to set up retail outlets of generic drugs (unbranded drugs) at all government hospitals and create awareness among people, two months ago, the AP Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation (APMSIDC) and district collectors are going slow on the move.

In the last two months, one outlet for generic medicines was opened at Osmania General Hospital but no outlets were identified either by the APMSIDC or the district collector.

Generic drugs are off–patent drugs that come in the same dosage, safety, strength and quality and for the same intended use. Also, the price of generic drugs is 40 to 90 per cent less than the branded ones.

Taking a cue from Visakhapatnam district, where district collector Shyamal Rao and Drugs Control Administration assistant director had taken an initiative on generic drugs, the Health, Medical and Family Welfare (HM&FW) department has decided to extend the generic drug store model to the entire state under the brand name ‘Jeevandhra Pharmacy’.

A GO (MS No 54) was issued on March 14, 2011, for establishing generic drug outlets across the state. While the APMSIDC is the nodal agency for the entire state, district collectors have to coordinate at the district level.

A state–level committee has been announced with the principal secretary of HM&FW department and 13 other members. At the district level, the district collector and 14 other members would be in the committee to promote generic medicines.

The district–level committee was supposed to meet every two months but no such meeting was organised since the GO was issued.

Interestingly, the HM&FW department has released about Rs 20 lakh for the promotion of generic drugs, but till date not a single workshop was organised.

Generic drugs could be procured through the ‘Jana Aushadi’ programme by the ministry of pharmaceuticals, the Pharmaceutical Export Council and also directly from pharmaceutical manufacturing companies.

Sources said the programme was not started as APMSIDC managing director B Venkatesham has been undergoing training for the last one month.

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