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New drug policy in Jammu and Kashmir evokes protests

Srinagar , Thu, 01 Mar 2012 ANI

Srinagar, Mar 1 (ANI): Scores of medical representatives took to the streets, here on Thursday, to protest against the new drug policy approved by the Jammu and Kashmir cabinet.


The state cabinet had recently announced a new drug policy based on the rationalisation of the use of drugs that include selection of Essential Drug List (EDL) by the State Drug Committee.


Kashmir Medical Representative Association Spokesperson, Kamran Niazi condemned the move taken by the state government saying it refrained itself from taking the consent of the desired experts.


"This protest is happening not only in Kashmir valley but throughout the country. We are highly thankful to the federation of Medical Representatives Association of India, who has supported the cause because Jammu and Kashmir Government is forcefully implementing the drug policy. They have passed it through cabinet decision without taking the consent of experts and professionals, which is inevitable," said Niazi.


Ever since the state cabinet gave its nod to the drug policy, there have been mixed reactions from experts and stakeholders associated with the pharmaceutical industry.


In an effort to regulate the drug procurement system, the state government has included only 350 medicines in the recent policy that has resulted in the denial of all other drugs existing in the market.


Medical representatives in large number were seen marching towards the Divisional Commissioner's office to handover the memorandum.


They were seen holding banners of 'Kashmir Medical Representatives Association' and shouting anti-government slogans.


In order to avert the unforeseen consequences, security personnel and state police officials were deployed in large numbers. The police had to resort to baton charge to disperse the mob.


The state government says the new policy will make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe medicines on the basis of generic name and not the brand name of a pharmaceutical company.


Health experts see it as an effective mechanism to deal with the drug trade, which will serve as a cost-effective and efficient procurement, storage and supply management system for drugs. (ANI)


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