The drug control department of Jammu & Kashmir has busted a scam involving the supply of around two lakh spurious antibiotics to hospitals in the Valley.
President of the doctors association of Kashmir, Dr Nisar-ul-Hussain told HT that the fake antibiotics could have led to hundreds of deaths. The association blamed former health minister Sham Lal Sharma as the drugs were purchased during his tenure and demanded a judicial probe into the case. "If even 10% of the patients who took the drug suffer acute infection due to the fake drug, the number would be huge," said Hussain.
Investigations have revealed that the Jammu-based distributor supplied Maximizen-625, a compound of amoxicillin trihydrate and potassium clavulate, purportedly manufactured by Himachal-based Affy Parenterals.
Not only was the drug "not of standard quality", it did not contain any amoxicillin at all, revealed a report from the state drug and food control department. Amoxicillin is used to treat bacterial infections.
Meanwhile, Affy Parenterals has denied its involvement in the scam. "These are not our drugs. The packaging is different from ours. Somebody has been misusing our name," said general manager, marketing, Geeta Jain.
The JK authorities, however, are not taking Affy's denial at face value. The assistant drug controller, Kashmir, Nighat Jabeen said, "The investigating team has been sent to Himachal to check all relevant records. We are waiting for their report."
The authorities had apparently placed the order with Jammu-based distributors Lifeline Pharmaco Surgical.