On Friday, the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) busted a racket involving substandard medicines in government-run hospitals in the Nagpur district of Maharashtra.
Around 21,600 Ciprofloxacin 500mg tablets were seized by the FDA from the medicine stores under the Nagpur Civil Surgeon at Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital (IGGMCH). The FDA’s intervention followed the disclosure of substandard antibiotics during the testing of samples. Those antibiotics lacked the essential composition.
Neeraj Lohakare, Assistant Commissioner (Food and Drug Administration), informed that the samples were sent to the government laboratory for testing, and the results indicated a complete absence of medicinal value in the tablets. In response to the findings, they conducted a raid at the government store at IGGMC and seized a stock of 21,600 tablets.
As per the senior FDA official, in February 2023, as part of its routine sample testing exercise, the FDA collected drug samples from Kalmeshwar rural hospital in the district under the supervision of Drugs Inspector Nitin Bhandarkar. Thereafter, the samples were sent to the government laboratory in Mumbai for testing.
A case has been lodged under Sections 420, 468, 471, 276, and 34 of the Indian Penal Code at Kalmeshwar Police Station in the district. Moreover, an investigation revealed that the spurious drug was manufactured by a fake company named Refined Pharma in Gujarat. The official further informed that this company does not exist anywhere in India.
Police have booked Vijay Shailendra Choudhary of Thane, Hemant Dhondiba Mule, a resident of Latur, and Mihir Trivedi of Bhiwandi in connection with this case.
The prime accused, Choudhary, is already in prison for a bogus medicine sale case. Yogesh Kamale, Police Inspector, Kalmeshwar Police Station, added that Choudhary had supplied the tablets to Trivedi, who then passed them onto Mule for distribution to government facilities.
(Input from various sources)