Even as protests against spurious drugs grow louder in Jammu and Kashmir,government documents reveal that the Drug and Food Organisation has taken more than three years to test samples of medicines and in some cases,the results have reached hospitals after an entire batch of the medicine had been consumed by patients.
A government document,a copy of which is with The Indian Express,revealed that the department lifted eight medicine samples from the Valleys hospitals between 2003 and 2006 and even after a decade,the test results are awaited. The department had also taken 15 medicine samples from the hospitals but returned them a year later without testing them. These include commonly available Pentaprazole,Roxythromycin,Gentamicin eye drops and Dextrose saline. For some medicines found substandard by the department a report was sent to the hospital after several months and in some cases,after a year. On January 21,2003,the department lifted a sample of Diazepam injection from a hospital and declared it substandard 10 months later on November 19,2003. The report said that a batch of Diazepam injections tested by the department was consumed when the report was sent. Drug Controller Satish Gupta declined to comment on unwarranted delays,saying he wasnt authorised to speak. The department is responsible for testing medicines purchased by the CPC,which works under the Medical Education Ministry.
Recently,Maximizin 625 supplied to J&Ks hospitals was found to be spurious. The test results supplied by Lifeline Pharmaceuticals found that it had zero per cent amoxicillin. Department sources say more than 30 medicines have been found substandard in recent years,most of them available in the market under various brand names.