| Drug control officials check the samples recovered from Mithapur bus stand. Picture by Ranjeet Kumar Dey |
Recovery of physicians’ drug samples worth Rs 2 lakh from Mithapur bus stand on Wednesday has lent credence to the theory of the city becoming a thriving market for their illegal sale.
In 2012, a similar recovery was made from Govind Mitra Road, the hub of medicine business. This time, the district drug controller’s office suspects the involvement of doctors or medical representatives in the illegal medicine sale racket. City doctors, however, denied the possibility of the involvement of their brethren.
State drug controller Hemant Kumar Sinha said on Thursday: “Jakkanpur police handed us the antibiotics, calcium tablets, ointments and injection samples they recovered yesterday (Wednesday).
A courier company had sent the consignment by bus. While being loaded on an autorickshaw, the cops seized it. Initial probe suggests the involvement of doctors or medical representatives in the racket.”
Sale of physicians’ samples is illegal. Medical representatives provide those to doctors for promotional purposes.
The packaging of physicians’ samples is different from medicines sold in the market. Samples bear a “Physicians’ sample, not to be sold” label and do not indicate the number of tablets inside. The number of tablets inside a pack is mentioned on the medicines sold in the market.
Taking up the cudgels on doctors’ behalf, Rajiv Ranjan Prasad, the president of Indian Medical Association’s state chapter, said: “Doctors get a handful of samples from medical representatives. As far as I know, a large number of such samples were seized yesterday (Wednesday). Such huge amount of samples cannot be available with a doctor.”
A drug inspector, on the condition of anonymity, said: “The logic that the doctors are citing to deny involvement is hollow. A medical representative can hand over his entire collection of physicians’ samples to a doctor with whom s/he shares good connections. The company would not check whom the representative has given the drugs.”