Chemists told to stock up on key medicines

The aim is to especially ensure the availability and accessibility of essential medicines

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Last Updated on January 6, 2024 by The Health Master

The top officials of the drug regulatory authority and drug price monitoring agency of the country have met the pharma traders to discuss ensuring the availability of essential drugs across the country in the wake of the impending wave of Omicron and Delta variants of C-19.

The officials from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) have met the top leaders of the All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) thru a video conference to discuss the availability of medicines in the present situation.

The government is concerned that the cases of Omicron and Delta variants of the C-19 virus may increase in the months to come.

The government also wants to ensure that there is no shortage of essential medicines to treat the disease and the related health issues across the country in the event of an emergency.

The aim is to especially ensure the availability and accessibility of medicines, including:

  • All types of cough syrups,
  • Paracetamol tablets,
  • Vitamin C,
  • Zinc tablets,
  • Azithromycin, and
  • Ivermectin,

and there is no shortage of these drugs in any pharmacy store across the country.

Following this, the AIOCD president, J. S. Shinde, and General Secretary, Rajiv Singhal, in a letter to all office bearers, presidents, secretaries, and executive committee members of its state affiliates, requested to ask all members to keep sufficient stock to meet the challenges in time to come.

“If any of the above products are short in your state/district, please inform us immediately so that we can come up with a solution to the shortages. Also ensure that there should not be any hoarding of medicines in any place, ” said the AIOCD leaders in the letter.

In tune with the Centre’s efforts to take proactive steps to face the challenge of a new wave of C-19 and its variants, Rajesh Bhushan, secretary of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, on January 1, requested his counterparts in all states and Union Territories to ensure timely and swift upgradation of health infrastructure and regular review of the availability of required logistics, oxygen availability, and buffer stock of drugs across all health facilities in the State.

States have already been advised to ensure health system preparedness by utilizing the existing budget under the different components for the creation of additional isolation beds and field hospitals, ICU beds, pediatric excellence centers, availability of oxygen, ambulances, drugs and diagnostics, human resources and tele-consultation platforms at the earliest.

To address a potential surge in cases, with a view to ensuring preparedness, states were advised to initiate the creation of field or makeshift hospitals to augment the availability of health infrastructure, with the help of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), as well as the private sector, corporations, and non governmental organizations, among others, he said in a letter to the States and Union Territories.

States may also consider leveraging hotel rooms and other accommodations linked with the C-19 dedicated hospitals in the government and private sector to cater to patients having mild to moderate symptoms of C-19, in line with the action taken in the previous surge in cases. He said all states should also monitor the home isolation cases and ensure control rooms at the district level or sub district/ward level are functional.

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