Govt withdraws ISM drug purchase order, directs procurement through JKMSCL

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, Nov 28: The Government has withdrawn its order of direct purchase of drugs by the Directorate of Indian System of Medicine (ISM) and asked the department for procurement through Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL).
The order was issued after the drugs purchased by the purchase committee of the ISM under the chairmanship of its Director General, Dr Abdul Kabir Dar, tested sub-standard and severely infested with fungus and have been declared unfit for human consumption by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The 5 drugs out of 15 samples, taken by Vigilance Organization in Jammu in September this year during inquiry of fake drug scam in ISM, were found spurious while report of other 10 drugs is still awaited. These five drugs are: Kancnar Gugulla, Prostate Forte , Systonex Syp, Jaytyadi Taila and Rajparvartinivati.
The Government order (No. HD/ISM/95/2016 dated 25.11.2016) addressed to the DG ISM and issued by the Health and Medical Education Department reads: “I am directed to inform that the letter issued by this office vide No. HD/ISM/95/2016 dated 27.10.2016 on the aforementioned subject is hereby immediately withdrawn. You are, accordingly, requested to ensure compliance and take necessary steps in furtherance of the same without any delay. I am also directed to inform you that all future procurements of ISM drugs and medicines must be made through JKMSCL after ensuring quality and all codal procedures.”
Under the Government order (No HD/ISM/95/2016 Dated 27.10.2016) issued last month, the DG ISM was given permission to procure drugs and medicines directly from the market till March 2017 due to delay caused in the procurement through JKMSCL. Sources, however, said that the delay in the procurement by the Directorate was deliberate. The ISM was purchasing drugs for Rs 9 crore for its hospitals and stores across the State.
Sources said that the ISM is purchasing drugs worth Rs 14 crore annually under AYUSH Mission, NRHM, and State sector heads and this is not for the first time that the drugs purchased by the department have come under scanner.
Besides, a departmental inquiry ordered by the Health Department last week in the purchase of substandard and fungus infested drugs, there are already three spurious and substandard drug cases registered against DG ISM. One case (Vide No 46/2013) of purchase of spurious drugs in the ISM is registered with Crime Branch, Srinagar. Second case (48/2015) for purchase of spurious drugs is registered in Vigilance Organization, Jammu and third case (JSC/07/2016) is registered in Police Station Vigilance Organization Jammu.
In the meantime, the Government has also withdrawn the substandard and fungus infested drugs from the ISM hospitals and stores and asked the doctors not to prescribe them.
The Government order (No. HD/ISM/95/2016 dated 25.11.2016) addressed to DG ISM and issued by the Health and Medical Education Department read: “I am desired to request you to immediately withdraw the drugs which have been found to be unfit as informed by the Vigilance Department vide its letter No: VO-JSC-Jmu-7/16-15842-43 dated 18-11-2016 (copy enclosed), from all the peripheral institutions where ever they have been supplied and make an inventory of the same and stock at central level. In addition, you are requested to immediately issue instructions to all the doctors serving in the department for not prescribing the said medicines from the Government supplies.”

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