‘Almost all drugs received at district drug warehouses of TNMSC being issued’

With reference to an article that appeared in The Hindutitled “Shortage of Drugs hits many Government hospitals in Tamil Nadu” on August 13, 2022, Deepak Jacob, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC), responded as follows: Post placement of first tranche of orders on June 6, 2022, in this financial year, almost all the drugs have been received at the District Drug Warehouses of TNMSC Ltd. and are being issued after receipt of the quality control report, based on the funds available with the institutions.

After the receipt of drugs, the TNMSC does two quality tests for the drugs before they are released to the public. Up to 25 days are required for sterility testing, which cannot be compromised and, therefore, a slight delay may occur in issuing to hospitals, he said.

Global issues such as Ukraine-Russia war and dollar-rupee fluctuations among other things had impacted the cost of raw material, excipients and packing materials. The COVID-19 pandemic-induced supply chain constraints from Chinese market have put great stress on Indian drug manufacturers as they are struggling to meet delivery schedules. These issues are being proactively tackled by the TNMSC by placing orders with all available suppliers, procuring at differential rates, and relaxing the delivery schedule, Mr. Jacob said.

“Even in this situation, the TNMSC maintains sufficient stock to treat the needy by way of making alternative medicines available in the same category in its drug warehouse. Instead of Omeprazole, drugs such as Ranitidine, Pantoprazole, and Rabeprazole etc. are available with similar effect and for higher end antibiotics Piperacilin-Tazobactum, Meropenam, Salbactum etc. are also made available,” he said, adding: “The existing drug procurement system of Tamil Nadu has provided for meeting out the exigencies at medical institution level itself through the CMCHIS funds. Further, 10% of the drugs budget is retained with the directorates and medical institutions to meet emergency scenarios.”

He further said: “Local procurement using available funds with the institutions on receipt of NOC from TNMSC is a regular mechanism to cope with emergencies and to ensure the continuous availability of drugs at medical institutions. Further, it is pointed out that of the 24 drugs mentioned in the article, 16 belong to the essential drugs list, seven are specialty drugs and one is a non-tendered product. The essential drugs are purchased based on previous consumption and stored at warehouses, and issued based on the requirements of the institutions and subject to availability of funds.”

“Out of the 16 drugs that fall under the essential drug category, except for two, all other drugs are available in the TNMSC warehouses and are being released to medical institutions on receipt of QC clearance. The specialty drugs are not routinely purchased or stocked in warehouses and are procured based on the indent received from the institutions. Of the seven specialty drugs indicated in the article, indents were received for six drugs and five were purchased and lifted by institutions.” “The lean period for supply of drugs is 90 days from date of ordering and suppliers are continuously supplying the same. Alternative arrangements are made to replenish the stocks,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 1:19:53 pm |