Who is telling the truth about the Rs. 300 million riddle at Health Ministry?

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

 The Government Nursing Officers’ Association (GNOA) yesterday accused the Health Ministry of continuing to pilfer funds from cancer control drugs.

 GNOA President, Saman Ratnapriya alleged that the latest involved an annual fraud of Rs. 300 million on the purchasing of ‘Paclitaxel 100 mg injection used on patients with ovarian, breast and lung cancers.

 He said the injection was being purchased at a cost of over Rs. 78,000 each for the last three years from the same drug company. He said that it had led to a monopoly situation.

Ratnapriya said that another drug company had come forward to provide the drug at a cost of Rs. 38,000. After registering the injection the required documentation was submitted to the Health Ministry on November 20, 2013. He said however that there had not been a response to the particular company’s low price offer till date. He said the Health Ministry would be able to save Rs. 300 million annually if it purchased the injection at Rs. 38,000 instead of Rs. 78,000 paid at present.

The GNOA President accused certain health officials of being more interested in earning commissions than in protecting the nation’s interest.

However a spokesman for the Health Ministry claimed that the GNOA President was merely acting on behalf of a vested interest.

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