KATHMANDU, July 2: Poor patients visiting Bir Hospital will no longer be at the mercy of private pharmacies, who have been charging high prices for medicines, as the hospital is planning to set up its own dispensary in a month.
The hospital administration said that it will discourage the practice of receiving gifts or other pecuniary benefits from pharmaceuticals companies, which would translate into reduction in the prices of medicines.
Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) has provided Rs 2.5 million financial assistance to the hospital for establishing its own dispensary.
Bir Hospital, the national referral centre, does not have its own dispensary until now but collects Rs 1 million from pharmacies that rent its space within and outside the hospital premises.
Director of the hospital Dr Buland Thapa said he is well aware that ultimately the poor patients bear the brunt of the exorbitant rent the hospital charges to the drug stores.
“The pharmacy run by the hospital will ensure that patients are provided with better medicines and are not cheated,” said Thapa.
The pharmacies operating in the vicinity of the hospital sometimes charge more than double the price of the drugs to people who are in a hurry. Some people have complained to the hospital administration that pharmacies do not return the money they charged, when they go to return the drugs.
Dr Thapa assured that such practices would end after the hospital run dispensary comes into operation.
The hospital administration said that it would also formulate standard drug guidelines for its pharmacy one it comes into operation.
Most of the government hospitals do not run pharmacies. Only, Manmohan Cardiothoracic, Vascular and Transplant Center (MCVTC) at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH), Patan Hospital and Gangalal Hospital run their own pharmacy. MCVTC dispensary has been selling drugs at price less than half the printed MRP.