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India’s FDA Finds Incorrectly Labeled Drugs in Medical Dispensaries at Hospitals

Health authorities at India’s Food & Drugs Administration (FDA) have made a shocking discovery with regards to pharmaceutical distribution. It turns out that many hospitals throughout India are improperly storing the drugs they dispense to patients, and many of these same hospitals are also operating medical stores that aren’t even legally licensed to distribute drugs in the first place.

The Times of India reports that an FDA probe has already identified at least 14 public hospitals in the region that are not only illegally selling pharmaceutical drugs without a license, but are also selling out-of-date varieties that are potentially harmful to patients. The INHS Ashvini Navy Hospital in Colaba, Siddharth Hospital in Goregaon and Chhatrapati Shivaji Hospital in Kalwa were all included in the sweep.

The FDA raid on these facilities confirmed many people’s complaints that proper record keeping was not taking place, and that medicines were being stored in violation of labeling guidelines. At the INHS Ashvini Navy Hospital, for instance, government agents discovered all sorts of expired drugs peppered in with current stocks in drug refrigerators.

“The store was run without a registered pharmacist,” one official told The Times.

At Siddharth Hospital, a single pharmacist was found to be treating as many as 1,000 patients with drugs, and in such a manner that cross-contamination or the wrong drugs being administered was likely occurring on a regular basis.

“Many [patients] were given loose tablets with bare hands in a piece of paper,” officials revealed. “Names’ target=’_blank’>http://bigpharma.fetch.news/”>Names of drugs were not mentioned on these papers.”

India has extensive history of drug violations due to lack of unified standards

This wouldn’t be the first time that Indian hospitals have been nabbed for improperly storing drugs. A year-long study conducted by the Delhi Pharmaceutical Trust (DPT), the results of which were published back in 2008, found that all drugs sold in India lose somewhere between 3 and 4 percent of their potency due to storage errors.

http://science.naturalnews.com/pharmaceutica… target=”_blank”>Pharmaceutical “degradation,” as Live Mint reported, occurs much more quickly when drugs aren’t kept under proper temperature controls, or when they’re exposed to too much light, moisture or other factors. This also occurs during transportation when drugs are being flown or driven in to pharmacies and hospital stores.

“Our study, as a pilot project, aimed at sensitizing the http://www.naturalnews.com/drug.html>drug makers as well as the distribution channels that there is an urgent need for awareness about the maintenance of good storage system[s] at every level of drug distribution,” Praveen Kullar, a DPT trustee and president of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association’s New Delhi branch, told Live Mint.

The study – which did not have an official sponsor, and was thus not biased towards any particular special interest – should have been a wake-up call as to the need for better handling and distribution protocols. As it currently stands, there are no unified standards in http://www.naturalnews.com/India.html>India for proper drug storage methods, and thus it’s an anything goes type of situation.

A central drug regulator in India did pass down a memo back in 2007 asking FDA authorities to at least enforce existing air conditioning rules in drug stores, though wholesale and retail traders fought the initiative. Still, there are other ways in which the problem is being addressed, or at least an attempt is being made to find a solution.

“A concessional electricity tariff, as it is allowed to http://www.naturalnews.com/hospitals.html>ho… and nursing homes, might help them improve the storage system,” Kullar added in a 2008 interview. “Also, measures such as offering cooling devices and marking of light and temperature-sensitive products with [a] colour code by the drug makers would help them combat these issues.”

Sources for this article include:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumb… target=”_blank”>TimesOfIndia.IndiaTimes.com

http://www.livemint.com/Politics/hZtMlSuQ3xq… target=”_blank”>LiveMint.com