But the medical experts are skeptical that the practice could bring some respite to the patients as the government medical shops run by the Red Cross Society were still owned by the private parties in Chhattisgarh. The state government has been auctioning off the shops as per the practice going on over years.
“The decision of Chhattisgarh government to ensure sale of generic medicines in government shops will cut down the price of drugs by 30 to 40 per cent,” Chief Minister Raman Singh said. The crucial decision was taken at the meeting of Chhattisgarh State Rural Area Development Authority held here on Monday.
The state government had taken leaf out of the experiment made by the Sarguja district authorities. On the initiative of the administration, the Red Cross Society shop in the district hospital had started selling only generic medicines. The experiment evoked good response among the people and the state government decided to implement the same in the entire state.
“All the medical shops run by the Red Cross Society in the state would sell cent per cent generic medicines,” Singh said, adding that the health department had been asked to issue instructions to the authorities concern and ensure that the decision was implemented in next 15 days. The generic medicines would reduce monetary pressure on the patients.
The generic drugs are identical to or the bioequivalent of a brand name drug in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use. Though chemically identical to branded medicines, the generic drugs are sold at substantially discounted prices.
The medical experts however felt that the decision would bring some respite and not much to the patients. “The shops are run by private parties and they take it through the auction by competitive bidding,” said one of them. The shops keeper would ensure that he dispose off medicines that would have bigger margin.
The experts said a constant monitoring from the authorities concerned could help in keeping a tab on the shop owners.