Essential and generic drugs will be available in Punjab only at rates fixed by the government, state Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jayani today said.
Jayani directed drug inspectors and chemists to ensure the availability of essential and generic dugs only at the rates fixed by the government, an official spokesman said here.
Issuing fresh guidelines to the drug inspectors, the Minister said that various steps have been taken by the Punjab government to improve health services and to check the ever increasing prices of the generic medicines.
He reiterated the strong resolve of the government to ensure quality healthcare system.
Jayani directed the chemists to make the essential medicines available according to the guidelines of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) which has recently issued notification fixing the uniform prices of the generic and essential medicines across the country.
According to the latest guidelines the prices of the medicines would be reduced to upto 50 per cent, the minister said.
He asked the drug inspectors to conduct surprise checks on drug retailers and wholesalers to ensure the accessibility of essential medicines according to the laid down guidelines of the NPPA.
The minister said that regarding price control of drugs a nexus between drug manufacturers, drug inspectors, chemists, medical representatives and doctors was essential to be broken.
He termed the fleecing of the patients by the chemists in the name of expensive medicines, a "daylight robbery of poor patients by some large scale and small scale manufacturers, especially by non-scheduled generic drug manufacturers."
He said that unfortunately the manufacturers have made it a habit to display an inflated MRP on the labels of the generic drugs, blown up by several times more than their original costs.