Sixty per cent of medicine consumed in Nepal comes from India and raw materials for drugs produced here are imported from India
Pokhara, November 4
Shortage of essential drugs in Pokhara has added to the woes of local folks.
The stock of medicine required on a daily basis such as drugs for diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid, cancer and skin diseases, among others, have run out in Pokhara.
Almost all these drugs are procured from Indian companies. Around 60 per cent medicine consumed in Nepal are imported from India and other countries. The medicine could not be supplied to Pokhara due to the obstruction caused by the ongoing agitation in the Tarai.
Vice-chairman of Drug Retail Entrepreneurs Association in Gandaki Jhalak Subedi said the drugs in stock habe almost run out.
He said many patients suffering from diabetes, blood pressure and thyroid, among other diseases, were deprived of medicine though the demand was high. “The volume of medicine produced in Nepal can in no way meet the demand of the market,” he said.
The protracted agitation in Birgunj is also said to have harshly affected the production of medicine, as Birgunj is home to many drug industries.
“We have been providing some medicine to needy patients after procuring it from India via airways,” Subedi said, adding, “But it is impossible to bring all the medicine by air.”
He added that even the drugs required for minor health problems such as fever and common cold seen among children are in short supply.
Operator of Swornim Medical Pharma in Pokhara Kishwor Ojha said medicine for chronic diseases were also in short supply in Pokhara.
He said the crisis had surfaced after patients bought more medicine than required owing to the fear of shortage due to the bandh.
Nirmal Gurung, one of the owners of Om Hospital, said surgery services would be closed if the condition persisted. “The government has to take the initiative to resolve the ongoing problem soon,” he said.
Bhoj Gurung, an asthma patient, said he could not find all the required medicine even after fanning the entire local market. As many as 60 per cent patients from village areas have been unable to visit health facilities due to the ongoing fuel shortage.
Doctors said people would lose their lives for want of medicine and timely treatment.
A version of this article appears in print on November 05, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.