The report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG0 has revealed that the state’s Health and Medical Education department has administered sub standard medicines to patients.
Bringing to forth several ills that are facing the department, the CAG report has noted that drugs to the patients that has been termed as sub standard. As per the report 50.95 lakh tablets, capsules, injections valued at Rs 82.74 lakh which were declared ‘not of standard quality’ had been issued for supply to patients. “The heath institutes are required to send the samples of the drug/ disposables for testing to the Drug Controller or an accredited laboratory on regular basis for ensuring independent quality check of the drugs; however as per the report none of the test checked health institutions had a mechanism of regular referral of drugs/ medicines/ disposables for testing,’’ the report noted.
Different local bodies have been raising their concerns over the medicines that are being provided to the patients, but the concerns were rejected as mere allegations.
“Data collected from the state drug and food controller organization Srinagar/ Jammu shows that the organization had lifted 1833 samples from health institutions during 2010-15, out of which 43 samples were declared as ‘not of standard quality,’’ the report said.
However, the report revealed that “cross check of data in the sampled health institutions showed that 50.95 lakh tablets/ capsules/ injections etc. (value: 82.74 lakh) declared not of standard quality’ by the testing organization had been issued for supply to patients.”
“The Principal (GMC) Jammu stated (August 2015) that the test reports of the samples lifted by drug controller authorities were not received by the department by the time the hospital consumes medicines, drugs and that the matter for delivering test reports immediately would be taken up with the concerned authority.”
This was, as per the report, due to the “absence of a proper mechanism for monitoring of reports once the samples were lifted by the Drug and Food Controller organization as by the time test reports had been received by the hospitals entire quantity of drugs/ medicines of the sampled drugs/ medicines had been administered either fully or partly to the patients.”
Medicines that which were found ‘not of standard quality’ include: cap Cefadroxial 500mg, Inj Ceftriaxone Ig, Ointment Vidin, Inj Ampicilline 500mg and Ibj Oxytocare.
The report has recommended that the Department is in dire need of a robust mechanism for regular testing of drugs before they are administered to the patients, as there is no specific policy guideline in place for testing of drugs before these are administered to patients.
The report also added that there has been no depiction of batch number and manufacturing/ expiry dates in the stores records. “Test-check of store records of the sampled health institutions showed that no such details had been recorded in main stock register at the central Stores, indents and sub-stores. In absence of these details audit could not analyze the system of issue of stocks of medicines from the stores in any of the test checked units as the system to be adopted should follow the FIFO (First-in First-out) pattern of issue to ensure that the drugs/ medicines with shorter shelf life are consumed first,” the report said.