Action to be taken against errant medicine suppliers under MESMA Act?

The issue of shortage of medicines in civic hospitals was raised at the Standing Committee meeting of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Wednesday. Corporators cutting across parties said they supported the administration’s plan to launch a crackdown on the errant medicine suppliers

BMC headquarter

In the standing committee meeting of the BMC, a corporator demanded that the MESMA Act should be implemented on medicine suppliers who fail to supply drugs and essential medicines to civic hospitals on time. The standing committee has responded positively to this proposal.

Major civic-hospitals like KEM, Nair, Sion, Cooper and other peripheral hospitals were facing a medicine shortage since the past few months. This is due to delay in medicine supply. The supply of medicine was also stopped for a day by the All India Food and Drug Licence Holder (AIFDLH) Association who had observed a one-day strike.

While speaking during the meeting, an opposition part corporator, Ravi Raja, said, “The blacklisted medicine suppliers should be punished under the Maharashtra Essential Services and Maintenance Act (MESMA). The administration has done a good job of taking action against the medicine suppliers/ contractors and we support them.”

Another corporator, Rajul Patel supported this move. She said, “If medicines aren’t supplied on time, then the suppliers should be investigated under the MESMA Act.”

She added, “Medicine is essential to patients and it needs to be available on time. A few distributors were blacklisted by the municipal corporation. The distributors union had stopped the medicine supply to blackmail the corporation. Instead of having a contract with distributors, the BMC should directly interact with the companies.”

The standing committee president has positively responded to these suggestions

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Abhay Pandey, President of All India Food and Drug Licence Holder (AIFDLH) Association, said, “If the BMC is considering to implement MESMA Act, then what is our fault. The medicine suppliers haven’t been paid. When we spoke about this to the BMC, two of our suppliers were blacklisted. We didn’t have any other option apart from stopping the supply of drugs for the corporation to take notice. An injustice is been done upon us. We can’t say anything about their suggestion to take action under the MESMA Act.”

The strike of the All India Food and Drug Licence Holder (AIFDLH) Association was taken back on Wednesday after additional municipal commissioner Ashwini Joshi removed the names of the suppliers from the blacklist.