The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Injection fine on medical store

The state consumer court has slapped a fine on a medicine shop for administering a wrong injection to a woman, forcing an abortion.

Archana Medical Stores and Clinic, in Kanchrapara, had administered a male hormone injection to Mousumi Bhattacharjee, instead of a female hormone medicine.

Mousumi, 33, a resident of Kanchrapara, had suffered two miscarriages. After conceiving for the third time in 2000, a gynaecologist prescribed her a dose of six injections of Prolution Depot (250 mg), a female hormone medicine, to avoid complications.

Mousumi and husband Manas went to Archana Medical Stores and Clinic with the prescription to get the injection administered. Anukul Prasad Paul, son of Karuna Prasad, an owner of the shop, administered the injection in a separate room, but did not show the ampoule to the couple.

After a week, Mousumi went back to the shop and Pal administered her a second dose, again without producing the ampoule.

For the third dose, the couple decided to visit a shop nearer home. “To their surprise, they found the cost at this shop much cheaper than what they had paid at Archana Medical,” said Prabir Basu, the couple’s lawyer.

The price at the second shop was Rs 46, though Archana Medical had charged them Rs 90.30 per ampoule.

Confused, Manas rushed home and brought the cash memo issued by Archana Medical. To his horror, he found his wife had been twice administered Testaviron Depot, a male hormone injection.

An ultrasonography on September 20, 2000 — Mousumi was 10 weeks’ pregnant — revealed that the foetus had not grown since the second dose was injected.

The doctor advised abortion, as childbirth would have been unsafe in that condition. Mousumi underwent an abortion on September 17 and “had since been suffering from depression”, said counsel Basu.

On December 18, 2000, the couple moved the consumer court, seeking compensation from Archana Medical. Allowing the complaint in part, the court on June 15, 2007, ordered the drug store to pay damages to the couple.

Institute of Post Graduate Medicine and Research, Calcutta, and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, both had informed the consumer body that wrong medicines could cause major damage to the foetus.

Anukul Pal said he would move the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against the order.

The husband had also lodged a complaint with the director of drug controls, who conducted an inquiry and ordered cancellation of the drug licence of the shop.

The shop-owners appealed before the principal secretary of the state health department, who upheld the order. They then moved Calcutta High Court and on October 17, 2001, Justice M.H.S. Ansari ruled that though the store had committed a mistake, the licence could not be cancelled.

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