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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Irregularities detected in chemist shop during raid

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Faridkot, August 31, 2013
First Published: 21:40 IST(31/8/2013) | Last Updated: 21:42 IST(31/8/2013)

A team of drug inspectors from three districts, including Faridkot drug inspector Tejinder Singh, on Saturday raided Universal Chemists, the only authorised chemist shop operating by way of tendering process in Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, and found several "physician's samples" stocked in the shop.

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Besides, the health department officials also found persons other than pharmacists selling medicines.
Irregularities were also detected in some sales records, as per sources.

The health department raid came following people's complaints and media reports regarding fleecing of cancer patients by chemists inside the medical college.

"The civil surgeon's office had received a complaint from the father of some cancer patients about overcharging for cancer drugs and issuing an alleged fake bill without prescription," said Tejinder Singh, drug inspector, Faridkot.

"We needed to check several things at the shop and called two more drug inspectors, from Mansa and Muktsar districts," he added.

The team also raided the shops at the new and old OPDs besides the one selling cancer medicines.
The three shops, which were raided on the hospital premises, are being run by the same person.

Universal Chemists is running five shops on the hospital premises and allegedly has monopoly over the medicine business inside the hospital.

"The authorities concerned have even allowed the same chemist to run another chemist shop at the cancer department. The Baba Farid University of Health Sciences had started providing cancer medicines on no-profit, no-loss basis at the cancer department last year. The authorities concerned also allowed the same chemist to sell cancer drugs who has already monopolised the drugs business inside the hospital," alleged Gurpreet Singh, a cancer society activist.

The university should rather handle the business of selling the subsidised cancer medicines itself to ensure transparency, he said.

"Finally, the health department has taken a strong note of the complaints and irregularities at the hospital and we want strict action against those who are found guilty," said Kultar Singh, another activist of Bhai Kanahia Cancer Roko Seva Society.

"Some physician's samples have been recovered from the chemist shop at the OPD during the raid. Besides, unauthorised persons were selling medicines to patients, which is not allowed as per law and the matter has been brought to the notice of the higher officials," said Dr Baldev Singh Sahota, civil surgeon, Faridkot."

The action would be taken as per rules, he added.

Puneet Tayal, who is running Universal Chemists at GGS Medical College, refused to comment on the raid. "I am providing drugs to cancer patients as per the set norms and prices and there is no irregularity in the shop at selling cancer drugs," he said.

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