At least six samples of medicines manufactured in Himachal Pradesh have failed quality tests conducted in June, according to the central drugs regulator. These include antibiotics, calcium and vitamin tablets, and other medications, and were formulated in Una, Kangra and the Baddi industrial area.
Himachal and its adjoining states of Uttarakhand, Haryana and Punjab account for 70 per cent of the total 20 samples of drugs, cosmetics and other medical products in the country, which have been declared “not of standard quality”, according to the drug alert list for June released by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization Wednesday. According to the list, 790 samples from the country were tested out of which 20 failed the quality test but none of them were declared ‘spurious’ or ‘misbranded’.
The highest number of failed samples, around 30 per cent of the total, were from Himachal – the state has one of the largest number of pharmaceutical units and usually accounts for the highest number of failed drugs every month. Four items on the list were manufactured in Uttarakhand, and two each in Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Noida. One sample each was from Goa and Tamil Nadu.
Among the failed drugs from Himachal, two were calcium and vitamin D3 tablets from two different batches manufactured by Baddi-based Wings Biotech in 2019. They failed due to “dissolution of calcium carbonate”, the alert said.
Another failed sample was of a September 2018 batch of amoxycillin and potassium clavulanate, a combination medicine used to treat many different infections caused by bacteria. It was manufactured by Astam Healthcare based in Theda village in Nalagarh.
A batch of thyroxine sodium tablets made in November last year by Life Vision Healthcare in Jharmajri, Baddi also failed the test. Thyroxine sodium, or levothyroxine, is used to treat hypothyroidism and other types of thyroid disorders.
The other failed samples include a batch of ondansetron orally disintegrating tablets manufactured by Rachil Pharma in Sansarpur Terrace in Kangra district, and a batch of nitrofurantoin capsules formulated by Swiss Garnier Biotech in Mehatpur in Una district. Ondansetron is majorly used to suppress chemotherapy and radiotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, and nitrofurantoin is an antibiotic used against certain urinary tract infections.
In May, 25 samples from the country had failed the quality test, including six from Himachal. Earlier this year, the deaths of at least nine children in Jammu’s Udhampur district in December and January were linked to a cold-and-cough syrup manufactured in Himachal Pradesh due to the alleged presence of a poisonous impurity.
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