Bir Hospital establishes own pharmacy on its premisesBir Hospital, the country’s oldest health facility, has started its own pharmacy from Wednesday to provide drugs and health equipment at subsidised rates.
Bir Hospital, the country’s oldest health facility, has started its own pharmacy from Wednesday to provide drugs and health equipment at subsidised rates.
The move, which is likely to benefit around 3,000 people who visit the OPD every day, is expected to reduce the cost of healthcare for the poor.
The hospital pharmacy located on the premises of Bir Hospital has a total of 250 types of drugs.
According to the hospital, it has invested around Rs 1 million to establish the pharmacy from the total Rs 2.5 million earmarked by the Ministry of Health. “In the hospital pharmacy, companies tend to provide drugs in much lower price,” said Dr Bhupendra Basnet, director of Bir Hospital. “Hence, the drugs are much cheaper despite
keeping a 15 to 20 percent profit margin.” Dr Basnet said the hospital will soon increase the number of drugs in the pharmacy. So far, the Bir Hospital had been leasing its space to private pharmacies which would pay up to Rs1.2 million per month.
Given the exorbitant rent, the pharmacies used to sell drugs at higher prices, creating extra financial burden on the patients, particularly those who come from poor financial background.
A majority of the patients visiting the hospital come from a poor financial background and are oftentimes referred to Kathmandu from other districts.
The MoH has also provided Rs 300 million to other hospitals across the country as seed money for establishing pharmacies of their own.
The concept of on-premises pharmacy was introduced in the country by Shahid Gangalal National Heart Centre. Later Manmohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Centre at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and Patan Hospital too followed suit.