Updated December 29th, 2023 at 17:04 IST

Delhi government urges MHA to entrust CBI with probe into supply of 'sub-standard' drugs

The drugs in question included critical life-saving antibiotics, such as Cephalexin, used for treating lung and urinary tract infections (UTI), among others.

Reported by: Business Desk
Medicine | Image:Shutterstock
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The Directorate of Vigilance under the Delhi government has formally requested the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to assign the investigation into the provision of "sub-standard" drugs to state-run hospitals to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). 

In response to alleged supply chain issues involving drugs that failed quality standard tests and posed potential risks to lives in hospitals under the city government, the AAP dispensation is poised to recommend the suspension of the health secretary, pending inquiry, to Lt Governor V K Saxena.

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Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj had previously advocated for action against the health secretary in connection with the matter. Following the health secretary's recommendation for a CBI inquiry into the alleged supply of drugs that did not meet quality standards, the Directorate of Vigilance stressed the need for a comprehensive investigation, spanning the entire supply chain from manufacturers to end-users (hospitals).

The communication from the Directorate of Vigilance to the Union Ministry stressed the importance of lifting the corporate veil to comprehend the gravity and motives behind supplying drugs of "not of standard quality." 

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The drugs in question included critical life-saving antibiotics, such as Cephalexin, used for treating lung and urinary tract infections (UTI), as well as other essential medications like Dexamethasone, Levetiracetam, and Amlodipine.

Referring to the ongoing CBI inquiry into the matter of 'Mohalla Clinics,' the communication urged an examination of whether the same sub-standard drugs procured by the Central Procurement Agency (CPA) were being distributed to patients through the clinics. 

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Lt Governor Saxena's directive highlighted the multi-state stakeholders involved in the investigation, including the Department of Health Services, Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), suppliers, dealers, and manufacturers in various states.

In light of these considerations, the Directorate of Vigilance formally requested the assignment of the matter to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a thorough investigation. A report from the vigilance department, submitted to the Lt Governor, revealed that out of 43 drug samples sent to government laboratories, three failed the test, and 12 reports were pending. 

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Additionally, out of 43 samples sent to private laboratories, five failed. The drugs that failed the test were identified as Amlodipine, Levetiracetam, Pantoprazole, Cephalexin, and Dexamethasone, as indicated in test reports from both government and private laboratories. The drugs were deemed "not of standard quality" based on the test results.

(With PTI Inputs)

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Published December 29th, 2023 at 08:16 IST