MCDA sets record straight
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 23 2011:
Manipur Chemists and Druggists' Association (MCDA) has described as unfortunate the alleged attempt of the State Police Department to mislead the public on the activities of MCDA through media while sincere efforts are being made to ensure uninterrupted flow of medicines and other life saving drugs for the people of Manipur.
Addressing a press conference in this connection at its Rupmahal Tank office today, general secretary of MCDA Dr RK Ratankumar asserted that MCDA has been trying its level best to ensure uninterrupted supply of medicine to the people even though economic blockade has completed more than 53 days now.
The main objective of MCDA is to ensure supply of required medicines to the people of Manipur and medicines are being brought in even on flights after convincing the drug manufacturing companies, Dr Ratankumar pointed out.
He went on to inform that after MCDA received a letter from the drug manufacturing companies expressing their unwillingness to continue with the supply of medicines without payment of compensation for the two truck loads of medicines that were set on fire by blockade supporters along National Highway 53 on September 16, the matter had been taken up for discussion during a joint meeting with the Health Minister and the Health Commissioner on September 20 .
In the said meeting, the Government gave its assurance of compensating for the loss and the same had been communicated to the drug manufacturing companies so as to ensure continued supply of medicines.
At such a critical juncture, the attempt of the Police Department to mislead the public on the activities of MCDA through media was very unfortunate, Dr Ratankumar said, adding that MCDA is not in the habit of saying anything without plausible reasons.
Dr Ratankumar recalled that during an earlier meeting with the Health Commissioner on August 18 last, it had been agreed that transportation of medicines to the State should be either done either through Jessami Road or NH-53 .
Acting on the advice of the Health Commissioner, representatives of MCDA have also met DGP, who in turned gave the clearance on transportation of medicines through NH-53 .
Accordingly, Medical Directorate had been intimated on September 11 for giving security priority to 23 medicine-loaded trucks stranded at Jiribam.
After the September 16 incident of setting on fire two medicine-loaded trucks, rest of the trucks went back to Jiribam.
But MDCA prevailed upon them to come back, Dr Ratankumar said.
At present, two Imphal-bound trucks loaded with IV fluid and three others are still waiting for security escort at Jiribam and the matter has already been brought to the notice of the Police Department, Dr Ratankumar pointed out.
Informing that transportation of 2 to 3 IV fluid loaded trucks and 7 to 8 other medicine-loaded trucks is essential on an average daily during normal time, Dr Ratankumar asserted that MDCA would continue to ensure that the same quantity of medicine is brought in since the Government has given its assurance on compensating the drug manufacturing companies for the loss suffered and the Police Department has stepped up its security measures along the National Highway.
From the side of MDCA took, a 13-member delegation would be soon despatch to Guwahati to meet officials of Assam Pharmaceutical Association for ensuring uninterrupted supply of medicines to Manipur.
If necessary, the Mumbai-based parent body would be contacted and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.
Even if all these measures fail, then MDCA delegates would go to Delhi and lobby with the MPs, Dr Ratankumar added.