A cache of drugs provided to practitioners by manufacturing companies as samples have been found stored in a house in Biratnagar.
The medicines, which can’t be sold legally in the market, were recovered by a team of officials monitoring the supply of essential medicines during the pandemic.
A team from the Department of Drug Administration and the police that found the medicines at Bhattimod, Biratnagar-16 impounded the drugs and started action against those involved.
Sanjeev Kattel, head of the Department of Drug Administration, Biratnagar, said the drugs were stored in the house of Ravi Rajak of Biratnagar-16. A total of 46 cartons of medicines including antibiotics, cough syrups, sanitizer and pain killer injections were seized by police.
There is a drug store called ‘Jitu Medico Hall’ near Ravi’s house, which is run by his brother-in-law Jitu Rajak and Jitu’s wife Sheetal Pandey (Rajak). The monitoring team suspects that the sample medicines stored at Ravi’s home may be being sold illegally at the shop.
The medicine shop, registered under the name of Pralhad Prasad Simkhada, has been shut down by the monitoring team. Once the team found out that the shop was registered under one name and is being run by a different person, the store was shut and the involved persons have been ordered to present themselves at the department within five days.
“It has been found that the person authorized to operate the drug store is Simkhada,” Kattel said, “But we shut down the shop as soon as we found out that it was being operated by other people.”
According to Kattel, the recovered samples cannot be sold in the market. Usually when a new product is manufactured, the pharmaceutical companies send it to doctors as samples through their market representatives (MR) to inform them about it. However, Rajak and the team had been selling these samples as medicines by changing their labels.
“Along with the drugs, we also recovered ATM cards and cheques of various banks during the raid,” Morang Police Chief SP Santosh Khadka said. “We found 168 ATM cards and 72 cheques of various banks.”
Ravi Rajak, the owner of the house where the medicines were recovered, has been arrested.
According to department official Kattel, manufacturing companies do not provide practitioners sample drugs on such a large scale.
Kattel also informed that necessary consultation and discussions have been started with the legal practitioners on how to take the issue of illegal drug storage forward.