Expiry Drugs Sold At SMHS: Arrested Persons Sent To 8-Days Police Remand

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SRINAGAR — Minister for Health and Medical Education Dr. Devinder Kumar Manyal on Wednesday sought a report from his junior minister regarding hospital staff at SMHS selling expired medicine to poor patients.

Talking to GNS, the Minister said he has also sought a report from MoS health in this regard by tomorrow.

“I have directed MoS to visit the hospital and submit the report before by tomorrow,” Manyal said.

“As for as the selling of expiry medicine is concerned, it is a serious issue and a shocking incident,” he said.

He said that whosoever was involved in the selling of expiry medicine will not be spared at all.

“Soon after I heard the news about the hospital selling the expiry medicine, I took the cognizance of the incident and I immediately directed the MoS to visit the hospital.” He said that an inquiry will be initiated into the incident. 

The hospital authorities closed the drug store for the moment, sources said.

On Tuesday, as reported by the GNS, police arrested two ‘pharmacists’ for selling expired medicine for allegedly wiping out the original expiry date on the medicine meant for poor patients.  Two more persons—main distributor Abdul Majeed Wani son of Abdul Gaffar Wani of Achagooses Pulwama and Riyaz Ahmad Mir son of Mohd Ashraf Mir of SK Colony Batamaloo Srinagar—were arrested by the police on Wednesday.

The two pharmacists arrested yesterday include Mohammad Ashraf Dar and Reyaz Ahmad Wani. The two were arrested by the police following a complaint that patients are being provided expired medicine.

All the four arrested persons have been sent to eight days police remand by a local court.

Confirming the arrest of two more persons, SSP Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail Parray told GNS they have been arrested in connection with a case under FIR No. 23/2018 u/s 420 (cheating) which was registered yesterday.

Following the complaint, a police team arrived at the hospital and seized the drugs, sources said.

They said that the medicines as per the label were not expired and the manufacture date too showed the latest drugs but the bar code clearly proved that the medicines were expired and the original expiry date replaced.

Selling expired drugs at SMHS hospital shocking: DAK

Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Wednesday expressed grave concern over selling expired drugs at drug counter of SMHS hospital.

“It is shocking to know that expired medicines are given to patients,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué.

Yesterday, police revealed that expired intravenous contrast agent was sold at SMHS hospital. The contrast agent is used for CT scan to help doctors to diagnose medical conditions.

Dr Nisar said the original information label of the drug was scrubbed and replaced with new one with extended expiry date. This was proved by the bar code of the product which showed that the medicine was expired and the original expiry date was changed.

“Expiry date is the date up until which the manufacturer guarantees the potency and safety of the drug. After the expiry date, the drug is not to be used and is to be discarded as per the protocol. The medicine that is past its expiration date is no longer effective and is unsafe for use,” he informed.

“We do not know how many patients might have received this expired drug and we do not know how many of them might have died due to the drug and ironically these deaths are attributed to patients’ illnesses,” said Dr Nisar.

 He said this illegal trade of selling expired drugs to patients has been going on for some time now in the hospital, but was not reported so far.

“There is a well-oiled nexus between the pharma companies and some officials at SMHS hospital that is pumping these drugs in the hospital,” he added.

“The nexus should be probed and people responsible for this criminal activity should be given exemplary punishment so that in future nobody will dare to think of playing with human lives,” Dr Nisar said.

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