Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Madhya Pradesh on May 14, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh on Wednesday alleged that the BJP-led state government was purchasing sub-standard or spurious drugs worth crores of rupees for distribution in hospitals.
“Ill-equipped and mismanaged hospitals, use of spurious and substandard drugs sans essential tests, leniency in tender conditions to favour the pet supplier companies, flagrant violation of WHO guidelines are some of the open wounds on the body of system,” Singh claimed in a letter addressed to Modi, released to media.
The former MP chief minister alleged in the letter that there was a “nexus between the higher officials and supplier companies”.
The MP government’s Drug Policy, 2009, provides that quality inspection of drugs is to be done by the accredited laboratories with the assistance of a selected external agency, Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) every year, but why TNMSC was chosen is a mystery, Singh said.
“For quality control of drugs the sample of each batch of medicine supplied by the firms has to be necessarily sent to the selected accredited lab within three days of receipts of medicine … a matter has come to light where drugs were procured and were used sans the tests from 2010-11 to November 2013,” the letter alleged.
The office of Principal Accountant General (General and Social Sector) found that drugs worth Rs 28.72 crore were used without getting them tested at accredited labs, Singh said.
“To assess the impact of non-testing of drugs, office of Principal Accountant General obtained the information of failed samples in drug samples tested during 2010-11 to November 2013 from the Controller, Food and Drug Administration, Bhopal,” the letter said.
Drugs worth Rs 59,21,174, supplied by TNMSC, which were found to be of substandard quality by the Controller Food and Drug Administration, were used by government-run hospitals, he claimed in the letter.
“… drugs worth Rs 10,46,204 purchased from the local firms were also not found to be of standard quality and these drugs were also issued to the patients,” the letter alleged.
Further, neither the cost of medicines was recovered from the manufacturers, nor were they black-listed, the Congress leader said, alleging that the health department was putting peoples’ lives at risk.
The letter, citing Modi’s pre-election promise of ‘na khaunga, na khane dunga (I will not indulge in corruption, nor would I allow others to), alleged that the Prime Minister had earlier failed to take action in the Vyapam scam in the state.