Govt to fix medicine price, generic name of medicine obligatory


Kathmandu, Aug 26 .It is not that unusual the leaders of different parties take contradictory stands on many issues. But, the former two health ministers belonging to different parties were univocal in terms of revising the bill relating to public health service during the House of Representative meeting on August 21.

The ruling party leader Khagaraj Adhikari said the VIP treatment ward at Bir Hospital needs to be utilized. The VIPs should take service from there.

The health practitioners, medical instruments and the lab there are of international standard, he added and argued that those going abroad for treatment should bear the personal cost. The bill relating to public health service therefore needs amendment.

Leader of the main opposition Gagan Kumar Thapa truly supported Adhikari’s view. Both are the former health ministers.

For many years, the VIP ward at Bir Hospital is of course awaiting for service to VIPs.
As the bill presented before the parliament by Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Upendra Yadav remained silent about the use of special ward, the former health ministers raised the questions on the bill.

Lawmakers Thapa demanded the incorporation of the points as- VIPs while going abroad for treatment need not take treatment cost from State coffers and they need to receive medical service within country’s hospital as Bir Hospital.

The bill has mentioned the basic health service as citizen’s rights. “Every citizen has the rights to quality health service in a convenient manner,” the bill added.

Government to fix the medicine price 
Now, the government itself is to fix the medicine price as per the bill. The medicine price was so far determined by Department of Drug Administration. It has fixed the price to 117 types of medicines.

Taking advantage of the slack monitoring, the medicine shops are selling the medicines for cancer, kidney disease, high blood pressure, asthma and cough at an exorbitant price.

Moreover, the doctors and the health workers are now obliged to mention the generic name of the medicines. The debate on writing the generic name of medicine in the prescription had raised since 1985 in Nepal but in vain.

Director General at the Department, Narayan Dhakal, claims if the doctors mention generic names of the medicines, it would be cheaper for the customers.

However, Nepal Pharmaceutical Association’s Chairman, Deepak Dahal, said it was not that people could buy medicine at lower cost if the generic name was mentioned. Rather they would be susceptible to get nonstandard medicine, he warned.