Morang awash with expired medicines

Biratnagar, May 8 :

The Division of Supply Management of the Department of Health Service has been supplying low-quality medicine in the district of Morang.

Sources in Regional Medical Store, Biratnagar, say the medical centres in Biratnagar were still receiving the products of Manoj Pharmaceuticals, Dharan, which was forced to shut shop two years ago on charges of manufacturing low-quality medicine.

After the medical centres of the eastern region started getting low-quality and date-expired medicines, they stopped using such drugs, say sources in the District Public Health Office, Morang. The medicines of Manoj Pharmaceuticals, most of them date-expired, have been returned for health concerns, adds the sources. The low-quality and date-expired medicines include iron supplements, paracitamol, Vitamin B supplement, Metron 200 mg, Clove oil, eye drops, Bronddil, Dentec, Frucimine and Hycine - all products of Manoj Pharmaceuticals. The Regional Medical Store, Biratnagar, has been distributing 54 varieties of medicines to 721 sub-health centres, 142 health centres, and 48 primary health centres.

According to the store, four lakh paracitamol tablets, which were either of low quality or date-expired, were returned last year. A staffer at the centre said though the medicines need to have an active life of at least two years at the time of supply, the Division of Supply Management of Department of Health Service has purchased medicines with much shorter lives.

Chief of the Eastern Regional Medical Store, Dhirananda Jha, said Manoj Pharmaceuticals manufactured almost all of the medicines supplied to the local health centers.