SRINAGAR, Mar 15: The drugs supplied to the Indian System of Medicine (ISM) by the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL) have been found sub-standard and poisonous and the officials have asked for stopping their usage.
The drug samples lifted by the ISM found four drugs of sub-standard quality and containing heavy metals beyond permissible limits. These drugs are Habb-e-Azraqi, Habb-e-Musaffi Khoon, Habb-e-Surfa and Habb-e-Shifa.
The office of the Assistant Director Medical Officer Anantnag and Kulgam districts in South Kashmir (No Est/ISM/Admo/Ang-kgm/111-134 Dated 13-02-2019) has shot a letter to Deputy Director ISM asking him to stop usage of the drugs that have been found containing heavy metals beyond permissible levels.
The letter said that these drug samples which were lifted from provincial drug store Barzulla, Srinagar and different district stores of Kashmir valley have been found not of standard quality as they contain heavy metals beyond permissible limits.
The test report (5552 dated 05-02-2019) of Habb-e-Azraqi manufactured by Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (with batch number UHA-19 manufactured in August 2017 with expiry 3 years from date of manufacture) has been found containing heavy metals beyond permissible limits.
The test report (5555 dated 05-02-2019) of Habb-e-Musaffi Khoon manufactured by New Sharma Laboratories (with batch number 021 manufactured in February 2018 with January 2021 as expiry date) has been found containing heavy metals beyond permissible limits.
The test report (5553 dated 05-02-2019) of Habb-e-Surfa manufactured by Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (with batch number UHA-51 manufactured in January 2018 with expiry 3 years from date of manufacture) has been found containing heavy metals beyond permissible limits.
The test report (5565 dated 05-02-2019) of Habb-e-Shifa manufactured by Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (with batch number UHA-11 manufactured in July 2017 with expiry 3 years from date of manufacture) has been found containing heavy metals beyond permissible limits.
The menace of procuring substandard and poisonous drugs in the ISM has been going on for last several years but the lack of any action on part of Government against those responsible has encouraged this practice. Doctors in the ISM said that two officials of the department -Ghulam Nabi Khan and Sameer Ahmad Bhat – who were also part of process of botched up purchasing in the department were transferred (Order No. 610 HME of 2017 dated 2-10-2017) to the MSCL.
Both the Vigilance Organization and Health and Medical Education Department have shielded the officials who were found involved in the drug scam in the past and that is being said as the main reason that the practice continues.
Six medicines – Kaishore Gugglu, Prostate Fort, Syp. Systonex, Jaytyadi Taila, Raj Parvartanivati and Syp. Tens off- supplied by the ISM to its stores, dispensaries and hospitals in Jammu region in 2016 and even consumed by the patients, were found sub-standard and containing fungal matter and other pathogens.
After the case was handed over to the Vigilance Organization, it instead of initiating criminal proceedings, asked (Vide Order No. VO-JMU-JSC-07/2016-12444-45 dated 27-07-2017) the Government to take the RDA against the accused. These officers who were founded involved in the scam included Abdul Kabir Dar, the then Director General ISM, Rakesh Kumar Shan, Chairman of Verification Board/Medicine Inspection Committee, Dr. Anil Kant Gupta, ADMO Udhampur, Member of Verification Board/Medicine Inspection Committee, Dr. Rohit Gupta, Nodal Officer, District Samba, Member of Verification Board/Medicine Inspection Committee, Dr Rakesh Kumar Raina, Drug Inspector ISM and Dr. Shujaat Hussain Shuja, Drug Inspector ISM.
The GAD and Health and Medical Education Department instead of taking the RDA, ordered inquiry that too after the lapse of 17 months. The GAD ordered inquiry against Abdul Kabir Dar and the Health Department (Govt order No. 627-HME of 2018 dated 19-11-2018) appointed Inquiry Officer against rest of the six accused officers of the ISM.
However, the Vigilance Commission was not even satisfied with the VO and had said that the act of the officials warranted criminal proceedings where it was established that Rs. 95000 were transferred to the account of Dr Rohit Gupta, who was a member of Inspection Committee from the account of M/s Drugs Pharma.