Variation in drug prices leaves patients in a fix

Pharmacies in govt hospitals charging more than those in markets

Variation in the prices of medicines at private medical shops and government-approved shops on the premises of the Government Medical College and Hospital has left the patients in a fix.
The health sector of the state, which is already facing controversy for not providing due healthcare to the needy in all hospitals, is now ‘looting’ patients.
Mohinder Datta, a patient who purchased Enclex 60, manufactured by Cipla, from government-run Sanyog Pharmacy, a unit of Sanyog Enterprises Private Limited, at the Super Speciality Hospital had to pay a bill of Rs 313 under cash memo No. S/76034.
The same medicine under the same brand was again purchased by Mohinder from Sanyog Pharmacy on November 28 under cash memo No. S/76318 and priced at Rs 320.
“We are advised to sell medicines as per the rate list provided to us. There can be a difference of the GST paid on different consignments of the same medicine,” a boy on the counter of the shop said.
On scrutiny, it was found that the batch numbers of both the consignments were having different MRPs. However, the surprising fact was revealed later by Sanyog Pharmacy when the same medicine under the same brand was purchased from a medical shop outside the hospital premises that was priced at Rs 200 only. It also carried the same MRP as the one carried by Sahyog Enterprises, the copies of which are with Kashmir Post.
When contacted, Sahyog Pharmacy in charge Savita Manhas admitted about the sale of medicine, but couldn’t give any specific answer on the huge price difference.
“I will check it with our manager and revert to you,” she said on phone.
Principal and dean, Government Medical College, Jammu, Sunanda Raina could not be contacted despite repeated calls.
Pertinently, Sanyog Enterprises Private Limited through the medium of the J&K Government tender is duty-bound to provide best quality medicines at discounted rates to public through 55 pharmacies.
A source in the GMCH said since crores of rupees had been paid by the contractors to get the tender of Sahyog Pharmacies in the associated hospitals, they were selling drugs at subsidised rates, but with enormous profits. “The money goes to the entire hierarchy in the department. Even some influential leaders are partners in the crime,” the source added.