Sub-standard drugs being supplied in Govt hospitals

Principal Secy Health admits in HC

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Oct 23: Health and Medical Education Department, in a startling revelation before the High Court, has admitted that 69 drug samples out of which 11 such drugs supplied by the J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Ltd (Government Agency) to the Government Hospitals have been found and declared substandard and misbranded.
The information has been submitted by Principal Secretary to Health and Medical Education Department, Atul Dulloo, in the shape of affidavit before the division bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe in tune with the directions of the court.
However, the counsel for petitioner-advocate Shakir Haqani sought some time to respond to the affidavit filed by the H&ME department by submitting that the same is deficient as court had also directed for providing particulars of the officers who had approved such drugs for sale and supply which has not been mentioned in the affidavit.
Court granted two weeks time to Advocate Haqani to respond to the affidavit of H&ME department and asked him to submit the response by next date.
Court was hearing suo-moto cognizance on an open letter addressed by one G S Grewal, president of Punjab Medical Council to the Prime Minister, which was published in various news papers.
Grewal, while addressing the said letter, had referred various problems and hardships faced by the general public to medical corruption with regard to exorbitant pricing of drugs, payments and commissions to referring doctors by pharmacists as well diagnostic centers, unnecessary reference of patients for testing to the diagnostic centers and medical examinations without actual need.
The Drug and Food Control Organization (D&FCO) as mentioned in the affidavit filed by H&ME department lifted 3145 drug samples in the State in the year 2017-18 and out of which 69 were found substandard.
These include 30 samples from Jammu division and 51 samples from Kashmir division including the hospitals. Out of the substandard drugs, seven drugs were supplied by JKMSCL, a Government Agency which include antibiotics and life saving drugs.
Court had sought affidavit from H&ME department mentioning therein action taken in respect of the substandard medical samples more specifically the substandard drugs found to have been supplied by JKMSCL and the particulars of officers who had approved such drugs.
Principal Secretary H&ME department has submitted the status of samples which have been declared “Not of Standard Quality” and “Misbranded” along with name of drug, name of manufacturer company, reason of substandard, status of prosecution which as per the affidavit are 58 taken from open market and 11 from JKMSCL during the year 2017-18.
It has also been submitted that action as per policy and guidelines has been initiated after getting the report of D&FCO regarding lifting and testing of samples of drugs from various hospitals of both Kashmir and Jammu divisions about the medicines which were found “Not of Standard Quality”.
Court has also been informed that two firms namely M/S Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and M/S Allied Biotech, both from Himachal Pradesh have been blacklisted.