BANGALORE: Officials of the Viral Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) allegedly purchased nutrient supplements and medicines for the Kyasanur Forest Disease (KFD) or monkey fever victims in Shimoga at a price much higher than the market rate.
According to official sources, it is a case of showing favouritism to a particular pharma firm allegedly run by a state health department employee. Medicines including, Syrup B-Complex, Syrup Iron and Azithromycin 500 mg tablet was recovered from the VDL wing of the district Mechan Hospital, Shimoga.
According to sources the VDL officials who invited quotations from pharma firms allegedly shortlisted a particular one placed an order violating the norms and conditions regarding the purchase of medicines.
The concerned authorities apparently ignored the proposals of other pharma companies who quoted lower prices.
Commissioner Department of Health and Family Welfare Dr Ramprasad on finding it out immediately ordered for an departmental inquiry taking note of the prima facie evidence in the issue.
When contacted Dr Ramprasad confirmed he received a petition from one of the pharma firms, which was ignored by the VDL authorities.
“I have issued directions to the concerned authorities to appear and explain the position and the procurement of medicines from the company which was shortlisted by the VDL authorities would be put on hold,” said Dr Ramaprasad.
Deputy Director VDL Dr Sulochana denied the charges and added there no particular firm was shown favour in procuring the medicines. “Only quality and the capacity to supply the requirements well in time have influenced in placing the orders. We have not deviated from the practices followed by our predecessors in this matter” she added.
The Department of Health Services and Welfare in Shimoga district distributed free medicines worth `30 lakh to people affected by KFD across five districts in Malnad region.
Transmitted through the ticks from monkeys to human beings, KFD was detected in several parts of Tirthahalli and Hosanagar taluks in Shimoga district, “Extensive vaccination have been undertaken in the KFD prone areas , sufficient medicines were made available and lot of awareness activities were conducted,” she said. This year nearly 285 blood samples were received by the district authorities and over 69 cases were found positive including 64 in Tirthahalli and five in Hosanagar taluk. In Tirthahalli, one person died and sample reports revealed 13 monkeys had KFD. In Hosanagar six monkeys died and two were found KFD positive.