The State government has decided to initiate measures to check exploitation of the people at the hands of certain pharmaceutical companies and drug dealers, Health Minister Adoor Prakash has said.

The Minister was addressing a ‘Meet the Press' programme at the Press Club here on Saturday.

According to him, cancer drugs that cost Rs.200 to Rs.250 at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) were found to have been sold at Rs.3,000 to Rs.3,500 outside. A drug that costs Rs.752 at RCC was found to have been priced at Rs.10,500 outside.

Similarly, the price of certain commonly used life-saving drugs like insulin had witnessed a manifold increase, leaving the common people in utter distress, he said.

Mr. Prakash said this blatant exploitation of the common man had to be stopped at any cost and the government had already convened a meeting of the heads of various departments at the five State-run medical colleges in the State to discuss the issue.

He said the State would plan an effective intervention of the drug market with the help of Kerala Medical Services Corporation to address the unethical pricing policy followed by certain companies and druggists. The government had decided to hold direct talks with various drug manufacturers, exploring the possibility of facilitating drugs at cheaper price to common man. Those druggists who were willing cooperate with the government would also be included in the proposed supply chain of the Kerala Medical Services Corporation, he said.

Sabarimala package

Mr. Prakash said the government would ensure adequate health care facility at Sabarimala and Pampa.

The government had decided to set up medical colleges in Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Malappuram, and Kasaragod districts. The special officer appointed for preparing the draft plan for setting up the proposed medical colleges had submitted the report on Saturday, he said.

Narayana Hrudayalaya had agreed to extend the service of cardiologists to the cardiology centres at Neelimala and Appachimedu during the annual pilgrim season.

Alappuzha package

Mr. Prakash said the government had announced a health package for Alappuzha district with a view to addressing the epidemic threat in the district every year.

The proposed package would be implemented with people's participation and Central assistance, he said.

College issue

The Minister said the government would hold talks with responsible parties in November to resolve the problems facing the self-financial professional education sector.

He said the government would explore the possibility of bringing private hospitals too under the ambit of the Rajiv Health Insurance Scheme.

He said the government had launched Cochlear implantation for children free-of-cost at all five government medical colleges in the State.