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Drug racket in state

Drug racket in state
Highlights

'Not For Sale' medicines meant for govt hospitals are repacked and sold with top brand names A Ravindra Seshu Racket unearthed in Vijayawada,...

"Not For Sale" medicines meant for govt hospitals are repacked and sold with top brand names

A Ravindra Seshu

  • Racket unearthed in Vijayawada, Guntur, Tenali, Eluru
  • Drug Controller probes how these medicines are siphoned off
  • Life saving drugs are diverted causing shortage in hospitals
  • Drug mafia runs the racket in collusion with govt officials

drug2Hyderabad : A major drug scandal has come to light in the state where the drug mafia has been siphoning off medicines that are labelled as "Not For Sale" meant for government hospitals and are repacking them with fictitious batch numbers and brand names for sale in the open market. This fact came to light when two official teams of Drug Control Administration unearthed the scandal following raids conducted by them in Vijayawada, Tenali, Guntur and Eluru. Even "Not For Sale" medicines meant for Karnataka government hospitals were found in these raids.

According to official sources, the medicines that were being diverted were life saving drugs like ciprofloxacin and amoxicillin.A According to highly placed sources, the medicines which were meant for the district headquarters hospitals and primary health centres in the state were finding their way into the hands of drug mafia. Though the medicines being produced for government supply with clear stamp "Not For Sale", the mafia found new ways to divert the medicines and make money.

The mafia has been removing the medicines from these boxes. They then change the strips and make it look new with names of the famous pharma companies. They are also given a new batch number. These medicines with various batch numbers are being sold in the market making it near impossible for the common man to find out the difference.

When The Hans India obtained a lead about the raids and gathered information, it found out that all these medicines have been dispatched from A P Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation. A What is now being probed is how these medicines which should have been sent to the government hospitals found their way into the hands of mafia in Vijayawada and Eluru. Sources said that this could not be possible without nexus between the government officials and the mafia.

As per the details, A P Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation used to purchase the medicines on behalf of the government and supply them to 1570 primary health centres and different government hospitals. What is surprising is that all the medicines supplied by the corporation should be accounted for both in the corporation office as well as with the hospitals for who they are issued. This aspect is now being probed by the Drug Controller. The state government had earmarked Rs 400 crore for 2013-14 to purchase medicines for government hospitals.

Sources said that there has been a lot of resistance to launch the probe by the AP Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation. They refused to act on the letters sent by Director General Health Services forcing the Drug Controller to intervene and insist on the probe. They have now asked the corporation to furnish all the details about the batch numbers, names of medicines and the names of the hospitals to which they have been issued.

The first lead, a source said, was made available to the DGHS by someone from the mafia though the reasons for the leak were not known. It is shocking that such gangs have been operating while over 1500 primary health centres and 16 district headquarter hospitals have been starving for life saving drugs. About 40 varieties of medicines were not available at the PHCs.

DG confirms the raids

Hyderabad: Director General of Drug Control Administration Bhattilal Meena on Monday confirmed about the raids. He said raids were being conducted by the teams consisting of deputy directors and assistant directors led by Nagabhushanam and Naga Narayana Rao.

"Preliminary reports indicate that big malpractice pertaining to the government medicines has taken place. I cannot give all the details about the raids right now, but our teams have been collecting information and decoding it."

The exact amount of the medicines that have been diverted is yet to be assessed and it would take another three days to get full information. The teams are finding out where and how the medicines have been diverted by the mafia. He said that amoxicillin medicines of the Karnataka government and ciprofloxacin of "not for sale' tag were also found in the raids.

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