Last week I had been to our regular pharmacy for purchasing a new Dienogest tablet prescribed by my gynecologist. My weekly requirement (14 tablets) cost me 640 rupees. I was shocked and worried thinking about the expenses that were going to increase as I have to continue this for sometime now. Just then, the husband asked the chemist if the dosage was correct or not. That got us into a detailed conversation with him. He mentioned that all of us (including him) can only be satisfied with the details given on the package. He says even the number one pharmaceutical company in India happens to reuse expired medicines because there are no proper checks. When I asked him if he had any proof, he said he did not.
He said he had just then returned medicines worth thirty-five thousand rupees to his distributor and there was no way he could be sure that those would be disposed off in the proper manner. His version about medicine disposal in India caught my attention. If what he said was right, then most medicines that say 2 mg on the package might only have 1 mg of the salt or may be more than 2 mg of the expired salt.
While we have all the necessary documents in place to know about medicine waste disposal, I seriously doubt if there are stringent quality checks happening in reality. I doubt because we never heard of so many illnesses and so many medical negligence deaths when we were young. India has become so corrupt that the value of human life is of no importance to anyone. Healthcare is not given the importance it should be given.
While my mind was preoccupied with this and a lot of other things, I happened to tune into Radio Mirchi’s Flat No. 983 contest by chance and learnt about Medicine Baba Omkar Nath Sharma. His numbers are: 09250243298 and 09971926518. Do read about his noble deeds here and help him in his endeavour.
Since we do have medicines that we no longer need and aren’t expired, this would be a wonderful way of helping the needy. As we all know, so many people lose their battle for lack of money, medicines and infrastructure. Let’s all pitch in and do our bit.
Also, throwing medicines along with our regular garbage will fill the landfills and in turn affect our eco-system. Remember the vulture-diclofenac story?
Among the many write-ups and research papers I read on this topic, this one made a lot of sense. This is exactly what is happening with us.
- Guidelines for Safe Disposal of Unwanted Pharmaceuticals in and after emergencies
- What do you do with the medicines you can’t use?
- Omkar Nath Sharma “Medicine Baba”
- Medicine banned—Where is notification?: HC
- Indian Vultures Are Dying for Some Good News