Antibiotics meant for animals administered to 300 patients

Antibiotics meant for animals administered to 300 patients

In a major breach of medical regulations, vials (antibiotic injections) meant for animals were supplied to Mathura Das Mathur government hospital in Jodhpur and were administered to 300 patients.

The consignment was seized and the state government has constituted a four-member panel to probe the incident. The incident also seems to indicate all was not well with the free medicine scheme introduced by the previous Congress government in Rajasthan.

“The pharmacist has been suspended from the hospital and a committee of experts has been constituted to probe the matter.

The committee comprises senior professor from SMS medical college, drug controller and two more experts on medicine,” said JC Mohanty, principal secretary medical and health at the state government.

The matter came to light when the hospital Superintendent found the injections during his inspection of the surgical ward. Hospital sources said the labels on the seized drugs carried the instruction “only for use in animals”.

“The hospital had received 1000 vials (antibiotic injections) from the market by the name of Pepenum, comprising the Meropenum drug. About 300 vials have been administered and rest have been seized by the drug controller,” said Deepak Verma, Superintendent of Mathura Das Mathur government hospital.

The hospital administration also did not rule out the possibility that the drugs, actually meant for use in humans, were wrongly labelled.

“(Wrong labelling) is quite possible since none of the patients who received the drugs complained of adverse reactions,” a senior doctor at the hospital said, adding that the panel set up by the state government would examine all possibilities.

Senior doctors said the quantity of Meropenum drug administered to human beings generally ranges between 500 mg to 1 gm and the drug in question has 1 gm quantity.
The hospital administration revealed that it has even consulted the veterinary department which confirmed that no vial with that name was used in animal treatment facilities in Jodhpur.

The hospital has acquired the drug from the open market after a full tender process, since Rajasthan Medical Service Corporation (RMSC) Jaipur does not supply the drug.

“The free medical scheme is in dire state. People are not getting medicines in hospitals,” lamented former chief minister Ashok Gehlot, whose government introduced the scheme.
“There could not be anything more shameful than administering drugs meant for animals to patients. There is no monitoring of the drugs.”

He accused the BJP government, headed by chief minister Vasundhara Raje, of failing to monitor welfare schemes introduced by the Congress government.

“It has been six months (since the BJP government assumed office) and they do not know how to run the old schemes. Nor did they introduce new schemes of their own,” Gehlot said.

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