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Generic drugs sold for profits, says BJP MLA

Bangalore, Jul 23, 2012, DHNS : 23:44 IST
In an embarrassment to the BJP, a ruling party legislator sought the resignation of Medical Education Minister S A Ramdas on the floor of the Legislative Assembly accusing him of misleading the public on the sale of generic drugs at subsidised rates in the recently opened government outlets.

BJP legislator Sarvabhouma Bagali sprang a surprise during a debate on the drought situation in the the State by claiming that he had documents to support his allegations that the generic drug outlets recently opened by the government were selling medicines for a huge profit.

The State government had teamed up with the Karnataka Co-operative Consumer Federation to set up 20 Janata Baazar generic drug stores across the State to make available drugs to poor patients at 50 to 80 per cent discount. The Minister was not present in the House.

“These outlets claim that they are selling generic drugs at a discount. But in reality they are making huge profits. I purchased Pantoprazol 40 mg, a remedy for acidity, at one of the outlets and was shocked when I was charged Rs 57.66 for 10 tablets. These tablets are available at Rs 7.60 in the open market”, Bagali, who represents the Indi constituency, claimed.

The legislator claimed that other generic drugs in these outlets were also being sold at huge profits thereby duping the general public. He charged that Ramdas and senior officers in the Medical Education department were hand in glove in the alleged “scam”.

He alleged that the drug mafia had influenced Ramdas in establishing generic drug sale outlets. Ramdas had sent a note to the Principal Secretary to Medical Education Department in November last year to consider opening of the generic drug sales outlets and the department issued orders at “lightning speed”, he alleged.

The Opposition, seizing the opportunity, sought the government to constitute a house committee to probe the matter.

Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa said the Medical Education minister would be briefed about the issue raised by Bagali and the government will furnish its reply soon.

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