Health Dept reinstates licences of 18 pvt drug de-addiction centres

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 19

The Health Department has reinstated the suspended licences of 18 private drug de-addiction centres in the state, including the drug de-addiction center at Max Hospital, Bathinda.

These licences were suspended over the selling of sub-standard medicines, but now the department has ordered that private drug de-addiction centres will not be able to purchase on their own. Now they will purchase medicines from government drug warehouse through the Civil Surgeon’s office only.

The Health Department said after suspending the licences of these private de-addiction centres, they were not able to admit or treat any patient. As a result, patients undergoing treatment from these centres were highly affected.

Moreover, as government drug de-addiction centres see a huge rush of patients, they are unable to admit these patients, so the Health Department has reinstated their licences with term and conditions.

In the new orders, the Health Department stated that centres would not be able to purchase medicines used in the treatment on their own and they would have to make purchases through the Civil Surgeon’s office. Further, they have been directed that the Health Department will give them one tablet of 2 mg at Rs 6, which they can sell to the patient at the de-addiction centre at Rs 7.50.

If they charge more than this rate from the patient, then their licence would be cancelled. Moreover, before supplying medicines to these centres, it has been made mandatory to get these checked at the state food and drug testing lab.

The licences of 18 drug de-addiction centres were suspended after the samples of medicines given to patients failed. After which, the Health Department had issued a show cause notice to 18 centres and they were asked to tell why medicines used by them were not as per the norms and they were asked to submit their reply within 15 days and if they fail to do so then their licences would be cancelled.

Most drug de-addiction centres had replied that they purchased medicines from private companies and if they are substandard, then the company, which manufactures these medicines, will be held responsible. They had claimed that instead of taking action against centres, the Health Department should take strict action against companies.

Taking into view this fact, the Health Department has directed the centres to purchase medicines, brufen norfin and naloxone, from the government.

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