In a major raid by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), illegal stocks of orthopaedic supplies and medicines were seized from a third-floor quarter in the government-run Gokuldas Tejpal Hospital. The FDA seized supplies worth over Rs 1 crore from the hospital room and a firm in Nanded supplying medical instruments.
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The raid was conducted in quarters assigned to doctors on the third floor of the residential building of the hospital. Accused Vineet Tukaram Pimpale was engaged in the illegal sale of orthopaedic implants such as interlocking bolts and intramedullary nails under the name ‘Medicol Surgical and Hospital Equipment’, an FDA official said. These supplies were also used on patients at the hospital. Instruments worth Rs 4 lakh were seized.
In what the FDA suspects is part of a larger cartel, supplier Ascelepious Enterprise in Nanded too was raided from where Pimpale bought supplies. Implants for hip joints, hip replacement surgery and fractures amounting to Rs 1.7 crore were seized from Nanded. “A team of FDA officials will now go to Gujarat where the supplies were manufactured,” an official said.
According to Commissioner Harshdeep Kamble, the medical supplies were sold illegally to 22 more stockists in the state. “I have asked all joint commissioners to inspect these outlets. We will also conduct tests to check the quality of these implants,” he said.
According to a doctor from JJ hospital, Pimpale was banned from selling medical supplies a few months ago to all four hospitals run under the JJ Group of Hospital as he had no licence. “There are a lot of illegal occupants in the government quarters of GT hospital. It is possible he acquired it for this purpose,” the doctor said.
Selling or stocking of medical devices is prohibited under Section 18(c) of Drugs and Cosmetic Rules except under licence.