Now Adulteration Emerges in Unani Medicines

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‘Supplies withheld, officials asked to destroy spurious drugs secretly’

Drugs in transit; awaiting sampling and testing: Senior Official

SRINAGAR: Amid intensifying pressure on authorities to widen the spectrum of probe in the spurious drug scam, reports have surfaced alleging existence of similar kind of wrong-doings in the Unani and Ayurvadeic medicines.

Sources in the establishment said that a huge quantity of Unani and Ayurvedic medicine has been kept on hold in Central Stores Barzulla as the supply doesn’t match the samples which the purchasing committee had approved. They also alleged that teams are being sent to ISM dispensaries confidentially to destroy the 2011 supply that according to sources was ‘spurious’.

“As per the approval of purchasing committee in 2011, the net weight of Khameer and Majoon medicine packs should be between 60 to 120 gms but the packs delivered to the department weigh just 20 gms. In an effort to cover up teams have been deputed to secretly destroy the supplied medicine”, sources in the department told KNS.

They claimed that fresh supplies received by the department in June 2012 for year 2012-13 have been kept on hold in wake of surfacing of the irregularities and added that medicine delivered to the department also do not match the samples.

“There are some companies outside state that manufacture Unani medicine exclusively for Jammu and Kashmir. I don’t know why these companies are not able to manufacture the medicines for other states”, said an official in the department wishing anonymity. He added that no one in the committee headed by the Director of the department is now taking the responsibility of verifying the drugs for onward supply to dispensaries, fearing scrutiny. An official in the Central Stores Barzullla, however, rubbished the accusation and said that due to non availability of the fuel for vehicles, the supplies were withheld. However, a doctor working in the ISM department, on the conditions of anonymity confirmed that about 460 AYUSH hospitals and dispensaries across state were running short of the medicine on account of the supplies being withheld.

“Anybody can come to the store and check the medicine. We don’t have anything to hide”, the official said.

Meanwhile the sources also alleged that the department was already struggling to save its credibility in the Vigilance department which is probing the alleged mismanagement of funds.

“They have disbursed the Union government grants through ATM’s in the name of non-existing NGO’s”, alleged sources, adding that the department has managed to mention some NGO’s who are existing only on papers and have drawn hefty amounts through personal ATM’s.

“Vigilance organization has already filed a case in this regard under No. 46-SLK”, claimed the sources.

When contacted, a senior official of the ISM department denied that supplies of last year have been dumped by the department. “The supplies are in transit at the provincial stores and are awaiting sampling and testing, which is mandatory before the drugs are supplied to respective hospitals. This is a normal and continuous procedure and drugs will be supplied only after proper verification”, the official said. (KNS) 

High level meeting held in Delhi 

Top officials of from Jammu and Kashmir had a detailed meeting with the officials of Union Ministry of Health on the spurious drug supply to the hospitals in the Kashmir Valley. Besides Union Joint Secretary Health, meeting was attended by the Drug Controller General of India.

A top official of the state on condition of anonymity said that the meeting was held on the instructions of Union Health Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad. “Please make it sure that my name doesn’t surface in any newspaper. We are here to seek assistance from the Centre. Our labs are not fully equipped. Life saving drugs like Saftixone + Betalectum and Omparozole with Domperdione can’t be checked in the laboratory. We are seeking their help to modernize our system and hopefully we will succeed,” he said.

He further said that the Valley based hospitals would be soon equipped with new drug labs.

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