Medical stocks down

Medical stores are running low on stocks due to disruption in logistics.

Medical stores are running low on stocks due to disruption in logistics.   | Photo Credit: Ashok Bhaumik

Distributors depend on courier service as well as transport service for getting supplies

A disruption in the supply chain saw most medical stores running low on stocks in Hyderabad. “Regular supply has nearly stopped. Even emergency indent which used to be received in under 24 hours is now taking two or three days,” said Balraju, a pharmacist at MedPlus medical store in the city. Outside the shop are two announcements, ‘Please come one by one’ and ‘Sanitiser, mask not available’. MedPlus is part of a franchisee chain but the disruption has hit even the smaller standalone stores.

“You cannot have a lockdown and expect medical supplies to flow normally. We depend on courier service as well as transport service for getting medical supplies from places like Allahabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Rajkot etc. All the vehicles are off the road now. All of them don’t have the essential supplies label,” says Subodh Kanodia, one of the bigger pharmaceutical suppliers in the city. “Unless the government moves quickly and uses cargo planes or creates an alternative supply channel we will run out stocks for even essential medicines like insulin, beta-blockers (used for managing blood pressure) and even antibiotics,” says Mr. Kanodia.

“We are getting only 10% of our supplies. People are buying drugs in large quantities,” says Arun, who runs a standalone medical retail store looking at near empty shelves.

“The disruption is a temporary one due to local logistic issues. The State borders are open and it should not be a problem after a few days. Yes, medical stores are insisting on prescriptions for drugs like hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin after people started buying them up,” says Mohan Krishna who works in a pharmaceutical company.

The Telangana government is clear about flow of medical supplies. The GO 45 issued on March 22 exempts medical supplies as well as manufacture from lockdown: “Hospitals, optical stores, diagnostic centres, pharmaceuticals manufacturing and their transportation,” and “However, production and manufacturing units which require continuous process such as pharmaceuticals, API etc. may function.” But the supply chain across the country has been disrupted leaving its impact on Hyderabad and Telangana medical supplies.

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Printable version | May 31, 2020 3:32:14 AM |

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