Transportation of life saving drugs likely to grind to a halt
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 20 2011:
Transportation of medicines including life saving drugs to Manipur may stop with drug manufacturing companies expressing unwillingness to take the National Highways without foolproof security.
Of the six Imphal-bound goods laden trucks, which were set on fire by suspected supporters of the UNC-sponsored counter economic blockade at Oinamlong along Imphal-Jiribam road on September 16, two were carrying medicines.
Taking serious note of the shortage of medicines including life saving drugs on account of prolonged economic blockade and counter blockade along the National Highways and the unwillingness of the drug manufacturing companies to continue transportation of drugs to Imphal without foolproof security, Health Minister L Jayantakumar today presided over a joint meeting with representatives of Manipur Chemist and Druggist Association (MCDA) and officials of Health Directorate.
Transportation of medicines including life saving drugs to Manipur is being carried out after MCDA places the order with the drug manufacturing companies.
Under the arrangement, payment for the medicine consignments ordered is not made in advance and MCDA makes the required payment to the drug manufacturing companies within 21 days of the consignments reaching Imphal.
However, after the September 16 incident where two medicines loaded trucks were set ablaze at Oinamlong, a situation has arisen where the drug manufacturing companies themselves have to bear with the loss since there is no advance payment.
Consequently, the drug manufacturing companies have decided not to continue transportation of medicines to Manipur in the absence of foolproof security along the National Highways.
The decision of the drug manufacturing companies which has been subsequently communicated was put up for discussion from the side of MCDA in the meeting presided by Health Minister L Jayantakumar today.
Working out the estimated loss of medicines in the fire at Rs 2.3 crores, the representatives of MCDA also proposed payment of compensation to the drug manufacturing companies as well as for stepping up security measures along the National Highways.
While the meeting was underway, Health Minister L Jayantakumar established contact with the Chief Minister over the phone, and at the instruction of the Chief Minister, the meeting agreed on discussing the matter related to payment of compensation to the drug manufacturing companies in the Cabinet meeting provided necessary documents/receipts of the destroyed medicine consignments are submitted.
Meanwhile, talking to The Sangai Express, Drug Inspector of Health Department has informed that the problem of shortage of IV fluid is even more acute than any other medicines including life saving drugs in Manipur currently.