Poor drug quality may have caused Chhattisgarh surgery deaths

Poor drug quality may have caused Chhattisgarh surgery deaths

Infection and sub-standard quality of the drugs used could have been the cause of deaths at a recent sterilisation camp in Chhattisgarh, the government told the Lok Sabha today.

Last month, botched sterilisation surgeries at government organised health camps had left many women dead in Chhattisgarh. "The suspected cause of death of women in Chhattisgarh sterilisation camp, could be infection/quality of the drugs," Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister Ananth Kumar said in a written reply.

He said all state drug controllers have been asked to ensure strict regulatory control over manufacture, sale and distribution of drugs. A sterilisation/tubectomy operation camp for women was conducted on November 8 at a hospital in the state.

"Subsequently, death of 11 women who had undergone sterilisation procedure at the said family planning camp was reported in the media. It was also reported that the death may be due to suspected use of spurious medicines," he said.

Samples of 12 suspected spurious drugs were sent from Chhattisgarh to Kolkata-based Central Drugs Laboratory. So far this laboratory has issued 11 reports. Four were found to be "not of standard quality" while seven were found to be "spurious," he said.

The Controller, FDA, Chhattisgarh also sent suspected drugs to Delhi-based Shri Ram Institute of Industrial Research.

As a result, the manufacturing licenses for those drugs given to two companies -- Mahawar Pharma Pvt Ltd, Raipur and Technical Lab and Pharma Pvt Ltd, Haridwar -- were suspended by the State Drugs Controller of Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand.

Drugs that were found to be contaminated were Ciprocin-500 (made by Mahawar Pharma) and Ibuprofen-400 mg (made by Technical Lab).

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