Mumbai: Soon, medicines from civic hospitals will have barcodes printed on them

Mumbai: The public health department of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is planning to introduce a new barcode system on medicines which will be distributed in the civic-run hospitals. Senior health official said, this system will ensure, medicines procured by the civic health department are not sold by the dispensaries and chemists outside the hospitals.

They want to put an end to the racket, which officials say exists in the civic-run hospitals. Last year, hospital patients complained of medicine shortage in civic-run hospitals which forced them to go out of the hospitals and purchase it.

The medicines in the four civic-run hospitals used up their two-year stock medicines, worth Rs 46 crore within one year. Many important medicines like insulin, antibiotics, and injections were unavailable to the hospital patients in November last year.

“The barcode system will help bring transparency in the entire process of purchase and sale of medicines. It will help stop sale of medicines outside civic hospitals, which has been brought to our notice. There is a racket in place and we want to put an end to it,” said official.

Dr Ashwini Joshi, Additional Municipal Commissioner (AMC), BMC, said they want transparency in purchase and sale of medicines and a tender will soon be floated. “This proposal is to help the patients getting treated in the civic-hospitals and ensure they do not face any shortage of medicines. Currently this proposal has been discussed it may take some more time before it is passed,” said Dr Joshi.

With the barcode system, the civic body is also deliberating to print a word MCGM (Mumbai Corporation of Greater Mumbai) on all the medicines. “We want to emboss MCGM logo on the medicines to ensure it is not sold outside the hospitals.

If any chemists are found to be selling these medicines, the administration will take strict action against the chemists and their licence will be cancelled,” said an official. Mumbai has four major civic-run hospitals and hundreds of dispensaries where the medicines are distributed to the patients. The medicine suppliers however have objected to the BMC move.

“We are not happy with this move as it will increase the cost price and add to the work load. Instead of imposing this idea, the administration should investigate the reason for the shortage of medicines in their hospitals and take action those responsible,” said one of the medicine suppliers.

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