The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Wrong drug in risk rerun
- Chemist error could have killed woman

Mousumi Bhattacharjee lost her unborn child because of a wrong injection administered by a medicine shop in Kanchrapara seven years ago (reported in Metro on Thursday). In a chilling replay, Pampa Roy could have lost her life because of a wrong medicine handed over by a chemist’s in Bally last week.

Pampa, a 26-year-old resident of 115 Dewangazi Road, Bally, was prescribed Reton by her gynaecologist for excessive uterine bleeding. At Relief Medical Centre, on GT Road, near Bally Bazaar, she was given Ritolan instead of Reton.

Pampa started sweating profusely and suffering dizzy spells. When she realised she was on the wrong medicine, doctors said it had caused “low pressure” and “weakness”, and sustained medication could have even affected her heart.

Sandip Roy, Pampa’s husband, lodged a complaint with Bally police station on Wednesday. Relief Medical Centre was shut on Thursday and attempts to meet the owner drew a blank.

Pampa was under the treatment of Susanta Kumar Kundu for excessive bleeding during her periods for the past three months. Kundu prescribed a course of 40 Reton tablets. On June 22, Pampa visited Relief Medical Centre and asked for 10 Reton tablets.

“As prescribed, I started taking two tablets a day. After each dose, I used to sweat profusely, my limbs would shake and I would have to lie down,” recounted the patient.

The next time Pampa went to the same medicine store and asked for another 10 Reton tablets, the owner asked her to pay Rs 45. When she pointed out she had paid Rs 82 for 10 tablets five days back, he told her some shop must have given her the wrong medicine.

“I pointed out that he had given me those medicines, but he first denied it. When I showed him the batch number of his shop on the strip, he requested me not to make the matter public,” said Pampa.

The Bally Bazaar Byabsayee Samity then urged her husband not to lodge a complaint against the medicine store. “That is out of the question. My wife could have died for their callousness,” said Roy.

Kundu, her gynaecologist, confirmed on Thursday that the wrong medicine had resulted in Pampa’s severe bouts of weakness. “The medicine shop-owner gave the wrong medicine but patients, too, must be more careful and demand cash memos,” he said.

According to an official of the directorate of drug control, it is “mandatory” for medicine shops to appoint a qualified pharmacist, but many flout the rule. “They can be stopped from selling medicines and can even face cancellation of their drug licence,” warned the official.

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