Expired medicines distributed in 26 government hospitals in Kerala: CAG report
In serious negligence, the CAG report stated that 26 government hospitals in Kerala distributed expired medicines to patients. The CAG criticised Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL) for putting the lives of patients at risk as chemical changes occur in expired medicines.
Thiruvananthapuram: The Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report stated that 26 government hospitals in Kerala distributed expired medicines to patients. According to the report, between 2016 and 2022, medicines worth Rs 4 crore reached the hospitals for which the supply was frozen. According to the report of the CAG, the Kerala Medical Services Corporation Limited (KMSCL) has shown serious negligence in checking the quality of medicines.
According to the findings, the production of medicines that were of substandard quality worth Rs 3.75 crores were distributed to 483 hospitals and medicines worth Rs 11.69 lakh that were ordered to be stopped were distributed in 148 hospitals. The CAG report also criticises the action of KMSCL as putting the lives of patients at risk as chemical changes occur in expired medicines.
The annual amount of medications prescribed by hospitals is not used by KMSCL to determine how many drugs are to be procured. From 2017 to 2022, 4732 items of drugs were indented by the hospitals, but KMSCL placed orders for only 536 items. Medicines must have a shelf life of 75 per cent. If not, the medication may be returned and the manufacturer may be penalised.
During the test period, there were 54,049 batches of medicines and 1610 of those batches lacked a 75 per cent shelf life. The corporations' penalties of Rs 32.82 crore were waived. There has not yet been any quality control performed on 46 different drug categories. From 14 suppliers, not a single medicine has been tested. KMSCL made feeble justifications for the drafted report. The CAG rejected this and harshly criticised it. KMSCL provided several justifications, including a shortage of chemists in the store, power outages, internet outages, etc.