Central Team Arrives In JK
The Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad seems to have taken control of the things and is personally monitoring the developments in the wake of surfacing of stinking spurious drug scam in Jammu and Kashmir. He has deputed a team from Central Drugs Control Organization to the State to ascertain quality of drugs available in government run hospitals and open market.
Highly placed sources told Greater Kashmir that given the “sensitivity” involved in the matter, the Union Health Ministry has constituted 11-member team headed by Deputy Drug Controller (North Zone) Ghaziabad, Dr K Bangarurajan which was tasked to come up with a “comprehensive report” on the matter.
Other members of the team include two Deputy Drug Controllers and eight Drug Inspectors of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization. The team would collect samples of drugs including injectables from hospitals in different districts and also from the open market which would be sent to the three different central testing laboratories located at Chandigarh, Kolkata and Ghaziabad for verifying their quality.
“There are strict instructions to the team to submit the interim report about their findings to the Ministry in three days and come up with the final report within a fortnight,” sources said.
Kashmir is in the middle of the protests over supply of fake and spurious drugs to the government run hospitals.
The protests started after the expose that two life saving drugs supplied to Kashmir hospitals – antibiotic Maximizen-625 and Curesef – were found of substandard quality earlier this month.
Sources said Azad has taken “strong” note of the unfolding developments in the State and is in touch with the JK government on the matter. “Yes, he (Azad) is personally monitoring the situation,” sources said.
The central team arrived in Jammu on Monday and according to the sources collected samples of different medicines including injectables from the hospitals and chemist shops from different districts.
“Some of the team members air-dashed to Kashmir on Tuesday and spread across the length and breadth of the province to collect samples,” sources said.
The team met officials from State Health and Medical Education Department to explore possibilities of assistance to the State in drug testing.
“The ministry is ready to provide every kind of assistance to the State to augment the drug testing infrastructure,” sources said.
The Union Ministry is likely to issue instructions to the State in next few weeks for plugging loopholes in the drugs procurement system in the State – that has come under sharp criticism following surfacing of spurious drugs scam.
Meanwhile, the state government on Tuesday said that stern action would be taken against the culprits responsible for supplying spurious drugs to the hospitals.
“Anyone found involved in heinous crime of supplying fake drugs or low standard diagnostic equipment would be dealt with stringent action and put behind bars under the law,” Minister for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan said at a meeting convened in Jammu today to discuss the issue of spurious drugs.
The Minister said ‘Rapid Alert System’ would be put in place to check supplies of substandard or counterfeit drugs.
Central Team Arrives In JK