The raids conducted by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the premises of the Jyoti Pharmaceutical, Kanpur, Baj Laboratories, Kanpur and Daffodils Pharma, Meerut last week threw light on the drug purchase racket flourishing in the Health Department.
Joint Director CBI, Javeed Ahmed said the three pharmaceutical companies were involved in the spurious drug business. "The samples collected from the pharmaceutical company have been dispatched for laboratory test. Once CBI receives the reports, action would be initiated against the three companies”, he said.
Interestingly Jyoti Pharmaceutical, Baj Laboratories and Daffodils Pahrma have been supplying drug to the government hospitals. Earlier the Health Department had blacklisted the three companies after their samples failed in the laboratory test.
When asked how the three companies managed to get contract for supplying drug to the government hospitals the Director, Central Medical Store Department (CMSD), Dr Ramji Lal said “at present I am not in position to comment over the issue”.
A senior Health Department officer said several pharmaceutical companies blacklisted by the Health Department on the charge of manufacturing sub standard/spurious drugs are supplying drug to the government hospitals. Each year Health Department floats tender for supplying drug to the hospitals through rate contract.
Along with Chief Medical Officer (CMO), the Central Medicine Store Department (CMSD) gives order to various pharmaceuticals company for the supply of drug for distribution in the government hospitals.
It was found that with connivance of some Health Department officials the pharmaceutical company supplied drug on the basis of diversion letter. Instead of the original company to whom the order was issued the unscrupulous company supplied the consignment of drug and even draws the payment.
An officer in CMSD said the department had issued the order for drug supply to the renowned pharmaceutical companies. “But the agents of the illegal drug units attached the diversion letter with the supply order. Instead of the reputed company the agents lifted the stock from the wholesalers operating their outlets from Aminabad, Sarojninagar, Rajajipuram etc. and supplied to the Health Department stores. Since these companies were offering cuts their supply was readily accepted by CMOs in several districts”, he said.
The top Health Department officers are very much aware of the racket can be gauged from the fact that on March 8 the Director General, Medical and Health Services shot off a letter to all the Chief Medical Officers and Medical Superintendents directing them to submit a report over the supply of drug through diversion by Mayfair Pharmaceutical, Lucknow, RTG Pharma, Lucknow, Malbarose Pharmaceutical, Lucknow, Goyal Agencies, Lucknow and Daffodils Pharmaceutical, Meerut in the financial year 2008-09 and 2009-10.
When asked what action had been taken against the pharmaceutical companies the DG Health, Dr RR Bharti said the investigation against the companies was continuing.
According to drug purchase rules only those drug should be purchased which are enlisted in the Master List of CMSD. But several drugs that are to be purchased under quantity contract are not mentioned in the master list.
Even the pharmaceuticals companies that are facing inquiry on irregularities committed in supply have been given order. A company had submitted false affidavit regarding lowest rate in CMSD. During inquiry it was found that government had to incur loss of Rs 30 lakhs. Again that company had been able to garb contract for supply of the drug.