Drugs supplied to hospitals in J&K not tested before given to patients: CAG report

Drugs supplied to hospitals in J&K not tested before given to patients - CAG reportPutting lives of patients at risk, the J&K government has been approving use of medicines in hospitals without any quality check, an official report has revealed.
In its latest report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India has brought to fore some damning revelations on how patients’ health is being compromised due to absence of a drug testing policy in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The audit revealed that no policy mechanism was in place for testing of drugs before these are administered to patients,” reads the report which was tabled in the State Assembly recently.
There is no mechanism in place in the State Health Department for referral of samples by health institutions for testing to Drug Controller or to any third party accredited laboratories.
Elaborating on the gravity of the issue, the CAG has referred to “instances” where large scale drugs procured by the Health department were issued for supply to the patients before they were lifted for testing by the Drug and Food Control Organization and declared “not of standard quality”.
Earlier this year, Kashmir Post highlighted how no action was taken by the Health department for four months after receipt of adverse report of a drug metronidazole tablet 400 mg. The stop-use notice was issued by the end of January 2016, while the drug was expiring in April 2016. For years, the patients had been given this medicine in hospitals and none was held accountable for this grave lapse.
“None of the health institutions has a mechanism of regular referral of drugs/medicines/disposables for testing,” reads the report.
The State Drug and Food Controller Organization had lifted 1833 samples from health institutions during 2014-15 for testing and out of these 43 samples were declared as “not of standard use”, the CAG report said.
However, it said, cross check of data in the sampled health institutions showed that 50.95 lakh tablets/capsules/injections worth Rs 82.74 lakh declared as “not of standard use” by the testing organizations had been already issued for supply to patients, thus putting their lives at risk.
“This happened due to absence of proper mechanism for monitoring of the reports once the samples were lifted for the testing as by the time the test reports had been received by the hospitals, the entire supply of the drugs/medicines had been administered fully or partially to the patients,” reads the report. “The lack of policy guidelines for ensuring third party testing of drugs/medicines procured was an area of concern which had resulted in issuance of sub-standard drugs/medicines for supply to patients.”
The CAG, which is a central body, has called upon the government to put in place a robust mechanism for regular testing of drugs before they are administered to the patients.
It has also pulled up the State Government for failing to prepare the purchase manual and drug formulary for the guidance of the health institutions even after the lapse of about three years of adoption of Drug Policy.
Although many of the drug testing and reporting issues were to be addressed by JK Medical Supplies Corporation, the delay in its operationalisation is allowing many of the dangerous practices to continue. Moreover, in many instances, JKMSCL has also been found to bypass quality testing as per standards.

Related posts