The state health department has decided to blacklist the two companies that supplied “contaminated” saline bottles to SSKM Hospital and the School of Tropical Medicine (STM), state health secretary Asim Barman said on Tuesday. First, some “contaminated” bottles were detected in SSKM’s radiotherapy department last week. It was STM’s turn on Monday, when saline bottles with a “strange woolly substance” were detected.
“The bottles had not passed their expiry dates. But since substances were detected in them, we sent the contents for tests,” Barman said. One of the companies is a small-scale unit and the other a state government undertaking. “The companies will not just be blacklisted, other prosecution measures will also be taken against them,” Barman said. A team of drug control officials has been asked to carry out an inspection at the two units.
As a permanent remedial measure, the government will henceforth send all drug samples for tests to renowned private laboratories. The identity of the manufacturers will not be revealed to the laboratories. They will have to pay the government the cost of conducting the tests.