Srinagar: Senior officials at Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura have not let go of a huge stock of expired drugs and consumables despite several requests by distributors to replace them as a “goodwill gesture”.
Sources told Kashmir Reader that the distributors of drugs and consumables have now filed a complaint with Director SKIMS asking his intervention in the matter so that huge funds allocated for the purchase of drugs and consumables are not needlessly spent on fresh supply orders.
“The complaint filed by distributors against the Faculty In-charge of Drug and Pharmacy Department has not been taken seriously, even as the official has faced criticism since 2016 when expired consumables were found being sold at SKIMS’ sales counter under his supervision,” the sources said.
The pharmacy department of SKIMS came under the scanner many times in the past after expired consumables and drugs were given to patients at the institute in 2016 and 2017.
As per an official letter, a copy of which is with Kashmir Reader, the Faculty In-charge of Drug and Pharmacy Department has halted the lifting of expired items from the stores, despite several requests by suppliers and distributors.
The fresh revelations have stirred a hornet’s nest as it has pointed to a larger fraud in the pharmacy department.
“As a matter of goodwill gesture, we had agreed to lift back expired items which are being held up with the pharmacy as the faculty in-charge is not allowing it to happen (sic),” a supplier, ‘Vascular Devices, Implants and Pharma Distributors’, says in a letter dated June 22, 2018.
The letter is follow-up communication of the supplier with SKIMS, in continuation of his earlier reminder dated April 4, 2018.
The letter requests the SKIMS Director to intervene so that the expired items are replaced as quickly as possible.
According to sources, there is a huge stock of expired drugs and consumables of two other distributors held up in the SKIMS drug store.
“Other than M/S Vascular Devices, Sundas and HR Enterprises have asked the SKIMS administration to allow them to lift back expired items for replacement. However, the officials delayed the process which has created a serious issue for the institute and the suppliers,” said a doctor.
Director SKIMS, Dr Omar Javed Shah, told Kashmir Reader that such issues had indeed cropped up at the institute. However, he said he cannot take a decision independently on the matter.
“The issue about the drug and pharmacy department has been looked after by an expert committee. I will bring the issue to their notice so that it is solved immediately,” he said.