Monday, April 25, 2011

Mediplus Pharmacy

I have been shopping with Medi plus for the past 3 years. Initially they were offering 5% discount for people below 60 on prescription drugs.. Later 10% was offered unilaterally for all customers. The basic advantage of purchasing with Medi plus is not only for discounts, but to ensure that medicine are not fake or duplicates. I hope they keep up their quality standards by sourcing from the original manufacturers. The recent trend of marketing their own product under their brand name is disturbing. On these products they are offering 15% discount. Will they be able to keep a strict vigil on the quality, since these outsourced product will offering if not 50% margin or more profit to the company.  

 "Medicines are delicate items. If not produced under proper conditions they will not work effectively. If not stored at the right temperatures they will loose their potency. Unfortunately, it has been found that as many as 30% of the drugs produced in India could be fake or substandard. To make matters worse over 75% of unbranded medical shops do not use air conditioning, despite the Drugs and Cosmetics Act mandating the storage of medicines under 25°C. Why put your health at risk?

 Why is this so important? With approximately 20,000 drug manufacturers in India, telling the difference between a good company and a substandard one becomes difficult for consumers. To cut costs, unethical manufacturers produce drugs in plants which do not meet approved standards, reduce the amount of active ingredient in a medicine, and add ingredients which should not be in a drug to begin with. The resulting lack of purity and efficacy in a medicine can cause serious health risks to a consumer.

Unfortunately, in many instances these substandard medicines are sold with the full knowledge of the retailer. Seeking to make a little more profit, the retailer accepts these medicines and passes them on to unsuspecting consumers. The retailer may even pay doctors for referring patients who have been prescribed these questionable medicines." source Mediplus website. 

There are more than 600 Mediplus outlets located across south India according to their website. The claim that all their stores are AC is a misnomer, since most of them have AC but it is never operated, may be a cost saving drive is undertaken. The location of the stores is quite aptly selected. Stocking of the popular range of medicines is undertaken without flaw, but some medicines they run out of stock, which they arrange to procure from nearby branches of theirs. This service is very useful. The promise of home delivery is mostly not honoured due to staff shortage. In fact i had given 19 K worth of medicine order and they gave excuses to deliver the medicines @ home. We had to collect it from their counter. This was a shocker to us, but my friend needed the one year supplies very badly since he was travelling abroad. We compromised on their default. I am surprised that the company did not acknowledge this record billing of 19 K to us as a customer. ( R. Pandurang )  Yesterday when i went to purchase Nonil they curtly replied that they don t have stock of the product nor it is listed in their dossier or catalouge.  This was surprising, what i would have expected from them is to arrange for supply of alternative, at least the suggestion, which they did not give. It obviously shows that they are careless in discharging their duty.  In fact many a times i found the salesmen canvassing extra quantity of the same medicine or OTC product to increase billing to achieve their targets.

The staff are mostly well behaved and enthusiastic in promoting sales. Majority of the times computerised billing is effected so that we are not cheated. Sometimes they adopt manual billing, which should be avoided since price calculation can go awry against us. But last time around my friend got the benefit of 350 bucks on manual billing. The salesmen was taken to task i believe. Overall i would definitely recommend Mediplus for buying medicine with a Caevet, which is applicable to all purchases in general.

Epilouge :  Of late i have noticed that despite advance information Mediplus is unable to procure a particular brand of medicine, there seems to be something wrong in replenishment or order system.  The staff seems to be casual in indenting and follow up.

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