Odisha: Crime Branch to probe spurious medicine trade | Bhubaneswar News


BHUBANESWAR: The state government on Monday ordered a crime branch probe into spurious medicine trade in the state three days after it was found that more than 58,000 tablets of anti-covid drug favipiravir worth around Rs 70 lakh were smuggled to Cuttack from Noida.
“Chief minister Naveen Patnaik has directed the crime branch to investigate into the fake drug case,” a government statement said.
While the spurious medicines have mostly been seized and samples sent for test, the main job of the crime branch would now be to track the entire value chain from the manufacturer to distributors, which is not established yet. The crime branch probe was necessary given that an inter-state network seems to be involved in the crime, a government officer said.
The state drug control administration, which unearthed the illegal trade on a tip-off from Maharashtra and Haryana, has found that spurious favipiravir (brand name Favimax-400) and nine other medicines such as antibiotics (azithromycin) and vitamin C tablets, among others, purportedly manufactured by the same non-existent Solan-based manufacturer were seized from a wholesaler in Cuttack. Since the name of the manufacturer is fictitious, the probe agency needs to find out the actual manufacturer who may be the kingpin, the sources said.
While 17,400 Favimax-400 tablets were seized in Cuttack, 40,600 tablets were sent by the Cuttack wholesaler to Gwalior. Some favipiravir tablets were found in Balangir. Spurious medicines were also found in Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar, all valued around Rs one crore, in past three days after raids in different parts of the state.
Drugs controller A S Das said Cuttack-based dealer /s Medilloyd Medicament Private Limited, which bought the spurious medicine from one M/s Max Relief Health Care, has no past record of any such spurious medicine trading and has a valid wholesaler licence. However, after the spurious drugs were found in his possession, all his stocks were being verified.
While prima facie, it appears, the spurious favipiravir was not used in Odisha, the drugs control authorities doubt other medicines may have been sold to patients by the stockists.

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