Drugs supplied through Niramaya counters are highly effective: Odisha govt to agitating kidney patients

Bhubaneswar: The state government today reassured the kidney patients of best quality treatment and medicine amid agitation by a group of patients in front of the residence of Health Minister Naba Kishore Das here seeking better facilities for them.

The state government made the reassurance after Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra reviewed the supply of medicines to kidney transplant patients in government-run medical college and hospitals in Odisha.

Participating in the review meeting, Health and Family Welfare (H&FW) department Secretary Shalini Pandit revealed details regarding the quality check, process of procurement and supply of medicines to the kidney transplant patients by Odisha State Medical Corporation Limited (OSMCL) through Niramaya counters at government-run healthcare facilities.

The meeting also deliberated upon the demands of the agitating kidney patients, sources said.

The meeting revealed that the medicines required during the kidney transplant surgery and post-transplant treatment are being supplied free of cost at the Niramaya counters. The quality of the medicines was thoroughly tested in NABL-accredited laboratories.

The laboratory reports have confirmed that the drugs provided through Niramaya counters were highly effective. The OSMCL usually follows a robust method for quality check and online procurement of drugs for kidney patients, revealed the meeting.

As per the data available with the state H&FW department, kidney transplant started in SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack in March, 2012. Till date, the hospital has conducted 187 kidney transplants successfully.

At present, around 120 post-transplant patients are under medication. Out of them, at least 90 patients (75 pc) were taking the medicines supplied through OSMCL. These patients have never reported any side effects.

However, around 30 patients have been demanding medicines of some specific brands from private medicine stores on the plea that drugs supplied by OSMCL have side effects. On the other hand, the medical experts have made it clear that the medicines supplied through the OSMCL did not have any side effects.

Earlier, the H&FW department Secretary and the authorities of SCBMCH had held several rounds of discussions with the agitating kidney patients and their family members and tried to convince them of the quality, safety and effectiveness of the medicines supplied through OSMCL.

In spite of these clarifications and counselling, a group of kidney patients and their family members have been staging dharna in front of the Health Minister’s residence here, said an official.

“It is not possible on the part of the Health department to procure medicines as per the choice of a particular patient or group of patients. We are suspecting the tacit role of some drug agencies in the ongoing agitation,” said the official.

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