From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore
Bangalore, Jun 19: With a view to help the poorer sections of the people, the Karnataka Government has decided to sell generic drugs at 50 percent discount on maximum retail price (MRP) by opening generic drug stores in all hospitals that come under the jurisdiction of the Medical Education Department.
The Department in collaboration with the Karnataka State Co-operative Consumer Federation Ltd would set up Janata Bazaar Generic Drug Stores in hospitals and sell medicines at 50 percent discount prices.
Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, the Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas said Chief Minister D V Sadnanda Gowda would inaugurate the first Janata Bazaar Generic Drug Store on June 21 in the premises of Victoria Hospital in the city.
Later, stores would be opened on the premises of all hospitals come under the Medical Education Department, he said.
“Janata Bazaar Generic Drug Store will sell medicines at 50 percent less of MRP. This initiative would be boon to the poor patients and the general public,” the minister said.
''This type of programme is first in the State to reach the medicines to the patients, directly from the manufacturers,” Ramdas said.
The stores would also offer 50 percent discount on MRP for branded drugs, surgical, essential drugs and orthopedic implants.
He clarified that below poverty line families would continue to get medicines free of cost in government hospitals.
India ranked first in the production of generic medicines in the world. However, the country occupied fourth place in terms of consumption of generic medicines, he said.
In a bid to popularise the generic drugs, the Department has decided to sell medicines at less prices.
An order would be issued soon directing all government hospital doctors to prescribe only generic drugs to patients, he said.
Stating that Centre’s drug policy was responsible for increase in the prices of branded drugs, the minister said the policy decontrolled prices of 170 essential drugs out of 440 available in the country.
Penalty on Doctors Refusing Rural Service
To overcome shortage of doctors and ensure quality health services in rural areas of the State, the Government has decided to impose penalty on medical students studying in government medical colleges and under government quota in private colleges who refuse to serve in rural areas after successful completion of the course.
The Medical Education Minister said penalty amount of Rs 10 lakh, Rs 15 lakh and Rs 25 lakh respectively would be imposed on students who complete MBBS, PG Diploma holders and post-graduate courses and refused to serve in rural areas.
The Government would promulgate an ordinance soon to make one-year of rural service mandatory for MBBS undergraduates and post-graduates immediately after successful completion of the course.
It would also obtain written bonds from students promising that they would serve in rural areas after completion of graduation.
A Bill to make rural service mandatory for fresh graduates would be tabled in the extended budgetary session of the legislature next month, he said.
Replying to a question, the minister said to make the rural service attractive, the government would provide residential accommodation, incentives and better salary packages for fresh graduates.
The law would be framed in a manner that makes this rural service mandatory to get a permanent registration as a practising doctor with the Karnataka Medical Council, officials said.