Drug scam: Many heads likely to roll | india | Hindustan Times
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Drug scam: Many heads likely to roll

india Updated: Jul 04, 2006 01:38 IST

MORE HEADS will roll in the Medical Health Department that has been rocked by the drug purchase scam.

Economic Offence Wing (EOW) has already started investigation into the irregularities committed in the purchase of drug in 11 districts.

On June 23, the EOW arrested former chief medical officer (CMO) of Faizbad district Dr MA Khan and owner of Oscar Drug and Pharmaceutical Company Saurabh Agarwal on the charge of embezzlement of funds in the purchase of drug.

Chief medical officers of Jhansi, Kanpur Nagar, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Moradabad, Meerut, Etah, Hardoi, Rae Bareli and Barabanki are also in the EOW net on the charge of irregularities.

An EOW official told HT that drug worth Rs 5 crore was purchased in these districts from various pharmaceutical companies in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004 without rate contract.

According to the purchase rules, each year the Central Medical Store Department (CMSD) finalises the rate of drug and the names of companies from which the drug are to be purchased. The chief medical officers of all the districts purchase drug from these companies under rate contract.

But the CMOS in 11 districts purchased drugs in gross violation of the rate contract. After the matter came to light, former principal secretary (medical and health) Neeta Chaudhary ordered an inquiry. In view of the gravity of the issue, the inquiry was handed over to EOW.

The investigation was in progress, the EOW officials said. “We are trying to find out the CMOs, senior medical officers and pharmacists involved in the scam.

Action will be taken against the members of the purchase committee that has finalised the purchase order.”

“After completing the inquiry we will submit a report to the State Government for action against the erring medical officers,” EOW official said. The finance controllers of the Medical Health Department have been also put under the scanner by EOW. During the investigation, the EOW officials found that there was a sharp increase in annual fund allocation to certain districts.

“It throws light on the nexus between the finance officers and medical officers. Else how can a district whose annual budget was Rs 20 lakh increased to Rs 80 lakh the next year,” officer said.

Meanwhile, the EOW has also started investigation into the Rs 2.5-crore purchase made by CMSD at the close of the financial year 2005.