DRUG POLICY AWAITS CABINET NOD
Srinagar, Jan 9: Jammu and Kashmir is all set to get its first Drug Policy within a few days, sources told Greater Kashmir on Monday.
ďDrug Policy is likely to be put before the cabinet for the discussion in next meeting and it is likely that it will get the cabinet nod. After that it will be applicable in the state.Ē he said.
The Drug Policy has been awaiting clearance for more than two years as there was discord between Ministry of Health and Ministry of Medical Education. Health Department wanted Directorate to procure the medicines while the Medical Education Department wanted an independent body to do the purchasing and distribution of drugs.
Last year Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had directed that the Drug Policy should be urgently placed before the cabinet for review and approval. But the policy was apparently held hostage due to the bickering between the two departments.
Some of the features of the policy have been discussed with the civil society groups to make it comprehensive, sources said, adding that some suggestions have been incorporated.
According to the surveys conducted by different agencies, 3.12 per cent of the total household expenditure was on health in the state in 1999-2000, out of which 90 per cent was spent on drugs.
Interestingly, there are only 350 essential drugs that are approved and included in the policy. That would mean all other drugs that are present in the market would be automatically rejected.
According to health experts, the policy would control spurious drugs in the market and lay down guidelines to promote good prescribing and dispensing practices and rational use of drugs in the public and private sectors. It will also provide cost-effective and efficient procurement, storage and supply management system for drugs.
After the approval of the Cabinet, Department of Health and Medical Education will have to take a lead role in its implementation. Mechanism for coordination and collaboration will be developed to facilitate the enforcement. The department will be the nodal agency for promotion of inter and intra-sectoral collaboration and cooperation. The department will hold regular reviews to verify conformity to this policy.
Monitoring and evaluation will take place at regular intervals and complete external evaluation will be conducted after every five years. Monitoring system for private sector shall also be developed and implemented by the department. Besides, there will also be a mechanism to redress public grievances.
Sources told Greater Kashmir that drugs will be selected on the basis of generally accepted concepts and principles of essential drugs which have also been recommended by the World Health Organization.
After the approval of drug policy, Department of Health and Medical Education will have to appoint an expert committee known as the State Drug Committee which would be responsible for initially preparing and subsequently updating, every two years, the essential drug list for the public sector.
The committee will include clinicians, pharmacologists, microbiologists, qualified pharmacists and independent experts in the field besides senior functionaries of the department like the Principals of Medical and Dental Colleges, Directors of Health Services, Controller of Drug & Food Control Organization.
The committee shall be headed by the senior most Principal of Government Medical Colleges in the state.
The drug list appended to this policy was prepared in 2008-2009. It was decided during selection of drugs that for the sake of greater stability, preference will be given to tablets over capsules, ointments over creams, powders for reconstitution over injectable solutions and to strip or blister packages over loose and bulk packages. Most of the medicines should be formulated as single compounds.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Jan 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Jan 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 10 Jan 2012 00:00:00 IST
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