Medical Supplies Corporation supplies substandard drugs

SRINAGAR: Drugs of substandard quality and drugs banned by leading hospitals are being supplied to the SMHS Hospital here by the Jammu and Kashmir Medical Supplies Corporation Limited (JKMSCL).
Several patients have had a reaction to such drugs and doctors have sent them back for quality check. But the minister for health and medical education, Bali Baghat, continues to defend the quality of the laboratories and the drugs supplied by the corporation.
In February, the corporation supplied to SMHS a Factor 8 injection (used in administering blood) manufactured by a Reliance pharmaceutical firm. When it was administered to haemophilia patients, it immediately had an adverse reaction.
“Some patients in fact swooned after a dose of the injection,” said Parvaiz Ahmad, a member of the Haemophilia Society.
Before this, the JKMSCL had been supplying a substandard Factor 8 injection manufactured by Intas which was banned by the high court after doctors submitted a report. Both the Intas and the Reliance injections have been banned by hospitals such as All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, and by hospitals in Kanpur and Karnataka because similar reactions were discovered in patients. Members of the Haemophilia Society have in their possession the reaction report filed by the doctors at AIIMS and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
After six patients developed reactions because of this injection, the department of medicine at SMHS sent a reaction report to the JKMSCL.  The report says, “As per the observation of the concerned department, the incidence of these reactions was noted with Factor 8 of Intas and Reliance companies and no such reactions were noted with Baxter Company. Keeping in view the above observation, I hereby recommend that Factor 8 by Baxter may preferably be used.”
The department of pharmacology also gave an adverse drug reaction report of patients who were administered Factor 8 injections manufactured by Intas and Reliance.
Since April the corporation is not supplying any Factor injection for haemophilia patients, who are adamant that they will not use the injection of Reliance. “We have been using the Baxter injection since long and we never reported any reaction from that drug. But with this Reliance drug, instead of relief, the pain aggravates,” said Adil, president of the Haemophilia Society.
Sharing a document, Adil informed, “In 2012, the hospital administration changed our drug .They started using the injection manufactured by Intas company.
But a patient developed reaction and we moved an application to the high court, which directed that the supply of the drug should be stopped immediately.”
A doctor who is part of the Haemophilia day care centre at SMHS said on terms of anonymity, “The immune system of haemophilia patients is in a compromised state. Their body does not produce proteins and they need Factors so that the protein level remains balanced. When a haemophilia patient comes with active bleeding or is in trauma, he needs to be given the Factor injection as soon as possible, so that the bleeding stops, otherwise he can die. It take a few seconds to dilute the injection of the Baxter company, but its takes 30 minutes to dilute an injection of the Intas and Reliance companies. In these 30 minutes, a patient can die.”
Doctors at SMHS hospital have asked the corporation to give a quality certificate for the Reliance drug. But the corporation is yet to give them one.
This is not the first incidence where questions have been raised on the quality of drugs supplied by the corporation. A couple of weeks ago, a substandard injection, Bupivicaine, was found to be the reason why patients were complaining of irritability, somnolence and headache.
Anesthetists and pharmacologists gave an adverse drug reaction report about the Bupivicaine injection to the principal of the medical college. The report says, “It is to submit here that the drugs from the same manufacturing company were rejected and declared unacceptable some years ago in Lalla Ded hospital.”
Doctors in associate hospitals of the SMHS have also been raising concern on the quality of drugs given by the corporation. But the minister for health and medical education is adamant that there is no problem with the quality check. In a written reply to a question, the minister recently informed the Assembly that the corporation has been certified with good laboratory practices.
MK Bandari, who heads the JKMSCL, did not answer calls.

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