Health unions threaten legal action over import of low quality drugs



By Dilanthi Jayamanne


The Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA) yesterday warned that legal action would be taken against the importation of low quality drugs. Addressing the media at the Union office in Punchi Borella, HSTUA President Saman Ratnapriya alleged that glass and foreign particles had been found in two injection phials used to treat patients with chicken pox and allergic conditions.


Ratnapriya said the first incident had been reported from the Ratnapura General Hospital on the 12th of this month when staff had discovered glass particles in an injection phial containing the drug Acyclovir, used to treat herpes and chickenpox viral encephalitis. The second incident had occurred at the Emergency Care Unit of the Padukka District Hospital when foreign particles (a white substance) was discovered in a Promethazine hydrochloride (Phenergan) phial.


There were approximately 36,000 of Acyclovir phials belonging to the particular batch number (P 3019) provided for patients. Each phial had costs Rs. 87, he revealed.


The HSTUA President said that the in such instances the drug batches were withdrawn from usage till a proper investigation was carried out. However he alleged that the two drug batches were still being used in hospitals.


The HSTUA had been instrumental in revealing several incidents of low quality drugs being discovered in hospitals.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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