Drugs that fail to get clearance from the Drugs Testing Laboratory of the state are getting a clean certificate later, which is alleged to be a nexus between the pharma companies and the officials.
It has been alleged that the companies want the drugs to get clearance as they fear of being blacklisted. In the last five months, some batches of drugs of a particular company had failed to get clearance in the first instance and was later declared as ‘standard’.
Moreover, there were allegations that some manufacturers were even allowed to withdraw drugs from the market even without giving the samples for testing.
Highly placed sources in the Drugs Department said that after some foreign material was found in the vial of a drug in a fair price shop in Kozhikode, the opened vial was handed over to the manufacturer’s representative and the stock available with the distributor was returned to the manufacturer.
“The surprising fact was that the drugs were not seized and no samples were taken for test, which could have landed the manufacturer in legal tangles,” the sources said.
“Once blacklisted, the pharma companies will not be able to place tenders. Moreover, if the drug samples fail the test, they will not get payment for supplies from the government,” highly placed sources in the Drugs Department said.
They also said that the test result of same batch of drugs also showed varying results. “How does the same batch of medicines show varying results?” they asked. They also contended that there was no need for the Drug Inspectors to take more samples of the same batch.
In reply to an RTI query, the office of the drugs testing laboratory said that they had no documents which explained the reason for different test results for the same batch.
Chief Government Analyst K C Mollykutty said that different results for the same batch could be because of various reasons related to storage facility or other issues.
“Once a sample of the same batch is again given for examination, it is treated as a new sample. We provide the result to the Drugs Inspector and the Drugs Controller. Our job ends there,” she said.
Drugs Controller in-charge P Hariprasad said that he was not aware of any such nexus between the companies and the officials.