Following multiple inspections through November and December during which “nine types of contraventions were detected” at the pharmacy, and the alleged failure of the hospital to provide a satisfactory reply to a showcause notice issued thereafter, the Retail Sale Drugs licence of Gurgaon’s Fortis Hospital, as well as the licence of its blood bank, have been suspended by the licensing authority. Fortis had come under scanner after the family of a seven-year-old girl, who died of dengue-related complications, accused it of overcharging and negligence.
“The licences of the blood bank and the pharmacy have been suspended. The hospital had submitted a compliance report, but that was found to be unsatisfactory. They have now been given another opportunity to meet the requirements of the guidelines, after which their compliance will be verified and a final decision will be taken on whether the licences need to be cancelled,” said an official from the Food and Drugs Administration, Haryana.
The order on the pharmacy states: “You are hereby directed not to indulge in sale, purchase and distribution of drugs during suspension period, otherwise legal action will be taken against you/your firm…” The order alleges that the firm was found to be selling and issuing drugs without mentioning the address of the prescriber or the patient on the packing slips.
The order states that during inspection, it was found that different drugs were “mixed with each other without secondary packing in single plastic boxes”, and some drugs were found to be stocked directly on the floor. A joint inspection of the blood bank was held on December 7, during which a total of 32 contraventions were allegedly found.
“The major contraventions included the fact that the main door and connecting doors of different sections of the blood bank, including the doors of the transfusion transmitted diseases lab, were kept open. This creates scope for the spread of transmittable diseases,” said Narender Kumar Ahooja, state drugs controller cum licensing authority.
“Two more major violations were found. Firstly, the hospital submitted an undertaking to the Haryana State Blood Transfusion Council promising to follow the processing charges laid out and display them prominently, which it has failed to do. Furthermore, the bank was found to be selling plasma… without submitting any no objection certificate for sale of human plasma for commercial purposes,” he said. In a statement, Fortis Hospital said, “We are cooperating with the authorities… Our operations are compliant with all laws. During this period, we will continue to ensure that patient care is not compromised and all our admitted and visiting patients get the best treatment available.”