GUWAHATI, Sept 13 - The State health department will lodge a criminal defamation suit against those who have of late been raising allegations of distribution of spurious medicines by the National Health Mission (NHM) Assam.
“Some people have of late been raising allegations of distribution of spurious medicines in Assam under NHM. A special lobby is behind the spread of the false information. It is a conspiracy. It took place because we did not send medicine samples for tests to a specific laboratory,” Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma alleged.
Sarma asserted that all medicines, before distribution for public use, are tested properly in Central government-accredited laboratories. “We have been repeatedly testing all medicines before supplying them for public use. If we find any issue regarding spurious medicines, we take immediate action against the person concerned,” he added.
The Health Minister informed that a file regarding filing of a criminal defamation suit on the issue, has already been sent to the Chief Minister’s office by the health department seeking permission to go ahead with the suit.
“The health department is ready to file a criminal defamation suit against the rumour mongers. So far my knowledge goes, NHM has been distributing generic medicines which are properly tested in the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). So there is no chance of any illegal activity. There are around 150 companies that supply medicines to us and if any spurious medicine is detected, we immediately send it back to the company concerned and take quick action against the rule violator. There is a certain procedure and protocol and we follow it very strictly,” Sarma said.
The Minister also made it clear that till date international organisations like World Health Organisation and UNICEF have not raised any questions on the issue. “We purchase medicines from companies certified by WHO and Group Manufacturing Practice (GMP). So we only get already tested medicines. Again, our drug inspectors also collect samples for tests. So it is a rigid process. So I can say with full conviction that there is no distribution of spurious medicines in any hospital of Assam,” Sarma affirmed.