Friday, January 25, 2008

ROHTAK, July 16 — General stores and kiryana shops have emerged as sale points for drugs and medicines in rural and semi-rural parts of Haryana in the absence of a proper distribution network or system. These unauthorised medicine sellers are a health hazard to the rural population as they do not possess the required knowledge nor training for dispensing medicine nor are as particular about dosages and expiry dates.

The trade, which has been going on without a ‘proper checks’ for the past many years, is reported to have finally attracted the attention of the Drug Control authorities, which have taken a serious view of the problem. Officials of the Drug Control Department conducted several raids in the Rohtak zone, in the past about 7-8 months and caught several persons for unauthorised sale of drugs and medicines in villages. Rohtak zone comprises of Rohtak, Jhajjar, Bhiwani and Sonepat districts.

In a raid at Charkhi Dadri town of Bhiwani district recently, the authorities seized a huge quantity of such drugs from a kiryana store near the subzi mandi. The recovered medicines include 5000 ampules (glass) of Oxytocin injection, 3000 tablets of Avil, 2000 tabs of Saridon, 1200 tablets of Crocin, 1000 tablets of Baralgan, 2000 tabs of Anacin 500, tablets each of Coldarin and Disprin from the shop. A case was registered under Sections 18 and 27 of the Drug Act in this connection. The open sale of Oxytocin injection is ‘banned’ by the government and the drug must be stored at temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees. However it was stored in the open in the godown of the shop. The sale of Oxytocins used in the dairy industry is allowed on prescription only, but there has been indiscriminate sale of the drug to dairy owners who use it to increase milk yield. Used indiscriminately the drug poses a health hazard to milk consumers.

According to Drug Control Department sources at least eight cases have been registered of unauthorised sale of medicines by some shopkeepers, mostly kiryana merchants in the first half of this year alone. The towns where raids were conducted include Rohtak, Meham, Jhajjar, Beri, Bhiwani, Charkhi Dadri and Sampla in this zone. Such cases have also been reported in Hisar and Sirsa districts during checking done a few years ago. But it is learnt that the problem is far more serious than what it looks at present. Illegal sale of medicine is reportedly going on in rural areas all over the state mostly because most villages do not have chemists shops. These are not opened due to the relatively small volume of business as residents normally visit bigger towns for their health and medical needs. But if the volumes are too small for chemist shops they are sufficient for small traders who stock drugs along with other goods.

The campaign to check the unauthorised sale of drugs would continue said an official of the drug department.