Hospital drug stores to be air-conditioned

The Health Department has decided to air-condition all drug stores in government hospitals in the State to ensure that drugs supplied in hospitals are kept in optimum storage conditions, in accordance with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

The decision has been taken following a flurry of complaints from doctors as well as the public that the drugs being supplied through government hospitals were of poor potency and often “ineffective”.

“We have taken the decision to improve the storage of drugs across government hospitals to ensure that the quality of drugs is maintained and that its potency is not affected. Improper storage of certain class of drugs like antibiotics can lessen its potency and affect treatment outcome. All drug stores in government hospitals will be air-conditioned so that drugs are stored under proper temperature,” Health Secretary K. Ellangovan said on Wednesday.

The State has excellent cold chain facilities across the State, right till the primary health centres and proper guidelines for maintaining the cold chain for storing vaccines used for immunisation programmes.

Vaccines are one class of drugs which need to be maintained in cold chain conditions, under 2–8 degrees C.

However, all other drugs, including antibiotics, are often stored in appalling conditions in most government hospitals.

Antibiotics are better stored in cooler conditions, ideally between 18–25 degrees C, to maintain its chemical composition and potency. “We will use State Plan funds and NHM funds for the project. We intend to start air-conditioning the drug stores in district, taluk and general hospitals this year itself. It will be a simple exercise and we do not think it will cost more than Rs. 1 lakh per hospital,” he added.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 7:10:22 PM |

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