The State Drug Control Administration will send another reminder to State Health Society and Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited for expediting recruitment of experts and purchase of necessary equipment for Combined Food and Drug Testing Laboratory at Agamkuan.
State drug controller Hemant Kumar Sinha said: “We will send the formal letter on Monday. While State Health Society has to appoint experts for the laboratory, the work of purchasing necessary equipment has to be done by the corporation. We have sent several reminders to both the authorities concerned but no action has been taken for the same.” He added that non-functioning of the laboratory was creating problem in the execution of cases related to fake and sub-standard drugs.
Sinha said several posts of the lone drug testing laboratory are lying vacant for a long time including that of the director, drug analyst, senior scientific officer and technicians. So far as director’s post is concerned, it is lying vacant for the past 21 years.
A drug inspector said: “The lack of sufficient number of drug analyst and technicians has hampered functioning of the drug testing laboratory. Since December last year, there were more than 2,500 cases pending at the laboratory. Though there are seven sanctioned posts of technicians, the lab has only three at present. Even if we collect a huge sample, we cannot get all tested on time because of manpower crunch.”
The drug inspector added: “Every month, we collect around 100 samples but most of those are not tested in the month it has been collected. It brings only disappointment for us because we are unable to punish the culprits involved in the business of fake and sub-standard drugs. What’s the benefit of having drug control administration when it is not able to do timely assessment of drugs?”
Another drug inspector, on condition of anonymity, said making the state’s lone drug testing laboratory fully functional had become important giving the presence of fake and sub-standard drugs in the market.
“In every drug, there is a calculative dose of some chemical composition which helps to kill the bacteria, virus, protozoa which causes the disease. But if a person is taking a sub-standard drug, which has sub-therapeutic concentration (lower percentage of effective chemical), the bacteria, virus and protozoa would not die. Rather, they would get time to change their structure and develop resistance against the drug. So when a person is taking a sub-standard drug, it does not have any effect on the person’s health. Rather by continuing with the sub-standard drug, the person’s condition is more likely to get worsened,” he said.