As many as 300 patients in a government hospital here have been administered antibiotic injections with vials carrying "For Animal Treatment Only" label, prompting authorities to order a probe into the matter.
Deepak Verma, the administrative head of the Mathura Das Mathur Hospital, where the patients were administered Meropenem antibiotic, said this could be a case of wrong labelling.
Soon after the matter came to light, the hospital authorities constitued a four-member panel to probe the matter, he said.
"We have procured 1,000 vials from the market by the name of Pepenum containing drug Meropenum. Out of this, about 300 vials have been administered and the rest seized by the drug control department," Verma said.
"No reaction or mishap has been reported even after about 300 vials having been administered," he said.
The prescribed quantity of Meropenum for human being is between 500 mg and 1 gm, and the vials in question contained 1 gm each, he said
"This shows the drug was meant for human beings but was wrongly labelled as 'For Animal Treatment Only'," Verma said.
The Rajasthan Medical Education Department too initiated a separate inquiry into the matter.
Principal Secretary of the State Medical Education Department J C Mohanty "has constituted a committee comprising a professor of SMS Hospital (Jaipur), the State Drugs Controller and a specialist" to look into it, a department release said.
"The committee will submit its report within seven days," it said.
"Besides this, Medical and Health Minister Rajendra Rathore has suspended a pharmacist of the drug store, who had received the supply, and a storekeeper," the release said.
The Drug Control Department too swung into action and seized the stock of Meropenum.Drug Inspector Manish Gupta said "We have seized the entire stock and sent samples to laboratory for test."
Officials in the veterinary department said no vial with this name or this drug was being used by veterinarians.
The hospital had procured the drug from the open market through the tender process as it was not being supplied by the Rajasthan Medical Service Corporation Limited, Verma said.
Meropenum is a considered a life saving antibiotic which is administered to patients with high infection not treatable by any other drug.
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the incident in MDM Hospital showed "carelessness" on part of the state government.