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Drugs cheaper at new outlet

Cuttack, Dec. 27: A fair price medicine outlet, set up by HLL Lifecare in collaboration with the state government, has been opened at SCB Medical College and Hospital.

All kinds of medicines, including the generic ones, will be available at the outlet at subsidised rates. State health and family welfare minister Damodar Rout today inaugurated the outlet at the hospital.

“Any patient coming to SCB can now get the drugs at cheaper rates at the HLL Lifecare centres and efforts are on to ensure that generic medicines are also available here,” said Rout.

He said poor patients could also get medicines under the Odisha State Treatment Fund and the Rastriya Swastha Bima Yojna at the outlet.

A health official said HLL Lifecare Limited had also been asked to procure cancer drugs and set up an extension counter at Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Centre for cancer patients.

A canteen for doctors and attendants has also been inaugurated in the hospital complex.

“One would be entitled to get a discount ranging from 10 to 50 per cent on various medicines and surgical implants at the eight medicine outlets that have been made operational from today,” said HLL Lifecare Limited chairman and managing director M. Ayyappan.

Ayyapan further said HLL Lifecare would soon sign an MoU with the state government to set up Hindlab to open and manage laboratories and pathological units in 19 districts of the state.

Sources said the state government was planning to facilitate Hindlabs to set up pathological laboratories at SCB, Captial Hospital and district headquarters hospitals at Bhawanipatna, Baripada, Koraput and Sambalpur. Similarly, 13 other districts of the state would have feeder laboratories in subsequent phases.

“Once the MoU is signed, we would complete the process of setting up the laboratories by March 2013. As all the treatment is based on diagnostics, our effort would be to ensure reliability and provide services at a cost which would nearly 40 per cent less than the existing market rates,” said HLL senior vice-president S. Girish Kumar.

Many organisations have opposed the privatisation move of the state government, alleging that it would cause inconvenience to the patients besides retrenchment of technicians at the government diagnostic centres.

Allaying fears, Rout said the government was taking all possible steps to ensure that all diagnostic facilities would be cost effective.