Doc moves DDA against Ranbaxy

Kathmandu, February 24:

A complaint was lodged against Ranbaxy Laboratory Ltd India at the Department of Drug Administration (DDA) today on the charge of supplying substandard drug to Nepal.

With the help of the Consumer Rights Protection Forum, Dr Kiran Jung Kunwar lodged the complaint against the Kamaladi-based Amarawati International Limited, super-distributor for Ranbaxy products, and its pharmacist Niraj Kunwar as one of the vials of Cilanem (Imipenem generic) with batch number 1712492 contained a thumb nail-sized glass pellet inside it.

Dr Kunwar also handed over the defective vile along with the purchase bill to the DDA seeking action. Though the drug was administered to Shambu Raj Kunwar for 10 days, thrice a day, the condition of the patient did not improve. Shambu Kunwar had been admitted to the Om Hospital for diabetes and chest infection. “We found that the last vial contained the glass pellet, the reason why the drug was not effective,” Dr Kunwar said at a function organised at the DDA.

The manufacturer concerned must recall the entire batch of drugs if a vial is found to be defective. Cilanem, the fourth generation cephalosporin, is administered only to patients admitted to intensive care and critical care units. Dr Deep Lamichhane, who had administered the drug, said they administered it on him for 10 days hoping the patient would get better. “It had no effect on the patient,” he said. According to him, this drug is usually administered for a maximum of seven days.

According to the DDA, the import of the product to Nepal was allowed one-and-a-half years ago. “The presence of a glass pellet in the vial shows a severe lapse on the part of the manufacturer,” he said.

Bhupendra Bahadur Thapa, director-general at the department, said the DDA will take an “appropriate move”. He said the DDA will collect further information about the accused and file a case in the district court. However, he could not answer when asked how will the DDA initiate action against a multinational company of another country. “We will hold consultations with government attorney as to how to go about the case,” he said.

“This was a single defective vial in the batch of product reported to us so far. We have not seen it. Other products are not defective,” a staffer of Amarawati International said.