BHUBANESWAR: Even as the Health Department has launched a crackdown on manufacturers and suppliers of sub-standard drugs in Odisha market, a huge stock of medicines dumped in a canal near Rathipur village under Khurda municipality sparked tension in the area on Monday.
More than 45 cartons, each containing 300 tubes of povidone iodine microbicidal ointment, were found to be floating in the stagnant water of the canal. While Health officials rushed to the spot to examine the discarded stock, the ointments constituted a lot that had been declared Not of Standard Quality (NSQ) by the erstwhile State Drug Management Unit (SDMU) in 2013-14.
The lot had been handed over to the manufacturer, Rajasthan-based Vibek Pharmachem India Ltd, after recall and it appears that the company had dumped the stock at the canal during transportation. The Department has lodged a police complaint against the company in this connection.
The company had supplied microbicidal ointment to the Government in 2013-14. Around five batches were tested and declared NSQ. Acting on the report, the SDMU (now dissolved after formation of Odisha Medical Service Corporation) had on April 2, 2015 issued notice to the company and asked it to replace 29,422 tubes. The company was also reportedly blacklisted from the list of suppliers of essential medicines.
The company, though, replaced only around 16,800 tubes and on December 26, took over the NSQ stock which was meant to be disposed of in accordance with Bio Medical Waste Management (BMW) norms.
However, it apparently dumped the cartons of the replaced stock in the canal.
The Assistant District Medical Officer, Khurda has lodged an FIR at the local police station charging the company of not only violating the BMW laws but also putting the public as well as livestock and animals of the area at risk.