Govt mulls to make generic drug use mandatory in state hospitals
Srinagar: The state healthcare department is mulling to introduce major changes in the system regarding to the nature, availability and stock of essential drugs at the hospitals.
Though the move is yet to be implemented as the governments nod is still awaited, the department believes that it can be one of the major reforms in stocking of medicines for the Valley hospitals.
Aimed at making the functioning of the department as efficient as possible, the state health department has sought to make Generic drug use mandatory, eyeing to weed out corruption from the state healthcare system.
The step, if taken will have multiple benefits on different levels of the healthcare system. Not only will it take care of corruption in the system, it is also said to reduce the out-of-pocket (OOP) expenditure on drugs, a senior official associated with the exercise said.
Director General Health Services Dr Saleem ur Rehman said that the department, apart from taking several other steps, has also decided to come down heavily on the wrong doings done in case of drugs.
“Generic drug use will be made mandatory with immediate effect. This, not only will stop a lot of corruption in heath system, but will also reduce the out-of-pocket expenditure on drugs, drastically,” he said.
“The department has made it a point that the use of generic names or the International Non-proprietary Name (INN) will be made compulsory and encouraged at all stages of government procurement, distribution, prescription and usage,” said Dr Saleem, which is also stated and recommended in the Health Policy 2018, though awaiting a final nod from the government.
Apart from making the ‘make Generic drug use mandatory’, the department is also eyeing on several other changes such as e-governance systems that inter-connect all licensing and registration offices and laboratories.
“GPS based sample collection systems and online applications for licensing will be introduced,” Dr Saleem said.
Further, to deal with the problem of the non-availability of medicines at the hospitals, the department has conceived an idea of a web-based tracking system, which will enable “a transparent system of tracking sufficient stocks of medicines/drugs, vaccines, dressings, laboratory reagents and other medicinal products for use by people of J&K,” he said.
Notably, the department is also mulling to introduce the use of e-pharmacy in every hospital so that distribution of drugs to patients is transparent and accountability is maintained and also 24×7 drug stores, which sell only generic medicines, will be made available at all tertiary hospitals and district hospitals.