Srinagar: The shutting down of the fair-price drug counter at SMHS Hospital after complaints of sale of expired drugs has exposed the faulty purchase system of drugs at Government Medical College (GMC) Srinagar.
Official sources said that the police investigation into the complaints has put the drug purchase committee under the scanner for allowing use of drugs in violation of the Drug Safety and Standard Act.
“We are questioning members of the drug purchase committee because they are the main people who clear the drugs sold at the (fair-price) counter,” said a police officer privy to the investigation.
He said the police had sent samples of the drug manufactured by Kiran Pharmaceuticals to multiple testing laboratories early this week, including to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bemina, for fresh quality check.
“The drug purchase committee allowed the use of the questionable drug without testing its standard and efficacy. So, we are obtaining the reports again,” the officer said.
Sources said that officials of GMC Srinagar who are part of the drug purchase committee at SMHS Hospital woke up to the negligence and mismanagement after the complaint about this drug from Kiran Pharmaceuticals. Four persons, including two hospital employees, have also been arrested after the complaint.
“The purchase committee of SMHS Hospital relies on quality certificates from drug companies rather than testing the drug itself,” said a Pharmacy Department official. “It is negligence on part of the purchase committee that they allowed the use of this most sensitive drug without quality checks. They can’t blindly rely on company documents.”
Another official, who is an expert in Pharmacology, said that information on the label of a drug must match its barcode. The committee members and pharmacists didn’t bother to scan the barcode on the drugs, the official said.
“It seems the drug purchase committee members are allowing the purchase of expired drugs against freebies or bribes. This is also a negligence which police have to look into,” he said.
Station House Officer (SHO) Karan Nagar, Maseer Asghar, said that members of the drug purchase committee at SMHS hospital were being questioned over their role in the “mismanagement”.
“We have already started questioning people associated with the purchase and sale of drugs at SMHS Hospital. They include members of the drug purchase committee. Their role is important,” he said.
Ahmad said that police were waiting for reports from various laboratories and FSL Bemina. “Let’s wait till the investigation is complete,” he said.
Principal of GMC Srinagar, Dr Samia Rashid, said Kiran Pharmaceuticals have submitted in writing that there was an error in the barcode.
“We will submit all the documents to the police to help in the investigation. But, we are sure that no one among us is at fault. The employees who were arrested have also been released on bail yesterday,” she said.