February 7, 2023

The Bihar

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Drugs bought at ‘inflated’ prices

2 min read

Patna: There are more skeletons tumbling out of the Bihar Medical Services Infrastructure Corporation Limited’s purchase and supply of drugs. The state government undertaking has been accused of not only supplying substandard and ‘misbranded’ drugs to hospitals, but also buying medicine and equipment at disproportionate prices. The differences in the rates fixed for medicines by State Health Society of Bihar (SHSB) and BMSICL range from 4% to 875%.

A PIL in this regard has been filed in the Patna high court. The next date of hearing is on July 8. On January 13 this year, Bihar government ordered probe into the matter by a five-member team headed by Dr K K Singh, additional director, health services, Bihar. The probe report was to be submitted in a week, but it has not come yet.

On January 15, under secretary Satish Kumar Vidyarthi wrote a letter to MD, BMSICL and asked him to remove the discrepancies in the rates of purchase of equipment and drugs. He mentioned that the rate fixed by SHSB in this regard was less than that of BMSICL. “After comparative study of both the rates, if it is found that the rate discrepancy is true, the BMSICL must try to procure drugs from its vendor on the rate fixed by SHSB. If it is not possible, the drugs must be purchased from the vendor selected by the SHSB. For, it must prevent any adverse reaction from CAG or Public Accounts Committee,” Vidyarthi wrote.

Sources in the BMSICL said rates of a few, not all, drugs were changed. GM (finance and administration), BMSICL, Tripurari Kumar, could not be contacted despite several attempts. He did not even reply to the TOI SMS.

A copy of the BMSICL’s drug list requisition for December-March 2013-14 shows the difference in rates. The total number of such products was over 225.

The differences also persist in the purchase of surgical instruments. Safety IV Cannula No18, No 20, No 22 had rate difference of over 104% each. Safety IV cannula No 24 had difference of 91%. The difference in purchase of catgut needle No 1 is over 60%. Disposable syringe with needle had a difference of 100%.

Drug Rate difference between SHSB and BMSICL

Frusemide 875%

Iron Folic Acid307%

Ketamine Hydrocholide 430%

Iron Folic Acid (large) 388%

Isosorbide Dinitrate 131%

Chlorpheniramine Maleate 162%

Clotrimazole (100mg) 104%

Diazepam 108%

Courtesy: TNN

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