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Chhattisgarh News
Chhattisgarh sterilisations: Delhi lab confirms presence of rat poison in medicine

RAIPUR: A Delhi-based drug laboratory has confirmed the presence of rat poison, Zinc Phosphide, in the antibiotic, Ciprocin 500, which were distributed to the victims of the botched sterilisations in the state, leading to 13 deaths.

According to officials while drug samples were sent to three labs, including one each in Kolkotta and Nagpur, the Delhi lab, Shri Ram Laboratory had confirmed the presence of the rat poison. Besides, traces of other toxic materials, including aluminium, have also been found in the drug.

Confirming the receipt of the report, Principal Secretary (health), Alok Shukla, refused to comment on its findings but admitted that the same had been sent to the Bilaspur police for investigation. However, sources privy to the report confirmed that the drug had rat poison in it.

Sources said according to the report, the content of the main salt, Ciprofloxacin, in Ciprocin was found to be only 300 mg whereas it should have been 500 mg. The findings would be a set back to the drug manufacturing companies, Mahawar Pharmaceutical Pvt, Ltd, Raipur, and Bilaspur based Kavita Pharma, whose promoters have already been arrested by the police.

The findings also put a question mark on the decision of the state government, which not only suspended but also arrested and dismissed the laparoscopy surgeon, Dr RK Gupta. Another doctor Dr RK Bhange was also dismissed from service along with Dr Gupta even before the inquiry committee constituted by the state government began its probe

The medical fraternity in the state is already agitating for the release of Dr Gupta and has been accusing the state government of making him a scapegoat in the case. A state-wide strike has been called for illegal sacking of medicos tomorrow (November 20) by Medical Officers Association, which has also threatened mass resignations if their demands are not met.

Ironically, while the report nails the misdoings of Mahawar Pharma, the company had been given a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certificate by the drug department earlier this year. This was despite the fact that drugs manufactured by this company had been banned 8 times by the state government due to substandard quality.