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Raid uncorks medicine racket

The state drug control administration on Wednesday carried out a raid in search of sub-standard medicines but the findings were quite surprising.

A team of drug inspectors, led by the licensing authority Subhash Chandra Roy, raided the unlicensed godown on Govind Mitra Road of one Ranaji. The team found medicines with labels of Bihar Medical Services and Infrastructure Corporation Limited (BMSICL) on them.

BMSICL is the wing of the health department, which supplies drugs to government hospitals across Bihar. The team found medicines worth Rs 30 lakh in which most of the drugs had the BMSICL label.

The findings of the drug control administration opened a can of worms because the state government is being cornered with allegations of irregularities in the purchase of medicines.

“We found several cartons of costly drugs, including anti-snake venom serums and injectables, which were supplied to the government hospitals. There is no doubt that the medicines we found were related to government hospitals because we found BMSICL labels on them,” said a drug inspector, a member of the team.

He added: “Prima facie, it looks like there is some involvement of BMSICL officials or those in primary health centres, government hospitals. Otherwise, how can drugs supplied to government hospitals end up in a private godown? It has to be probed.”

The inspector said they found old drugs on which BMSICL’s labels were not there but it seemed that the state health society brought those drugs.

“Before BMSICL, the state health society used to purchase drugs. The original packets of the old medicines were thrown and they were being sold in new packets. Initial probe suggests that the expired medicines of government hospitals were also being sold in new packets but we have to investigate more to prove this. We have also found some drugs which were supposed to be refrigerated but those were kept in the open in the godown,” he said.