Doctors and staff at a government hospital in Jodhpur are facing a public outrage after hundreds of patients were wrongly injected with a veterinary drug.
It was only this Sunday a patient's attendant noted that the meropenem injections offered at the Mathura Das Mathur (MDM) Hospital, as part of the "Chief Minister's Free Medicine Scheme" were actually meant for animals and not humans. The vials carried warnings "Not for Human Use, For Animal Treatment Only" written on them, Daily Mail, reported.
However, by the time, a significant number of patients had already received the wrong medicine and nearly 400 vials had been emptied, The Hindu reported. The hospital authorities said that there hasn't been any adverse outcomes associated with the wrong injection.
The hospital authorities have suspended a pharmacist and the Rajasthan government has ordered an inquiry into the incident, The Times of India reported.
"We stopped the supply immediately and seized the remaining stock," Deepak Verma, superintendent of MDM Hospital, told The Times of India.
The hospital received nearly 1,000 vials of pepenum on 14 June, mainly from the open market through tenders. The vials contained the drug meropenem, an injection used to treat various bacterial infections. The normally recommended dosage of meropenem for humans is between 500 mg and 1 gm. Each vial used by the hospital authorities contained 1 gm of the drugs, making them conclude that the drugs may be wrongly labelled.
"This means the drug is meant for humans but was wrongly labelled 'For Animal Use'," Verma added to TOI. "Moreover, there was no 'after reaction'." Additionally the labels also lacked the animal pictures enforced as part of the Drugs and Cosmetics act. Vet experts confirmed to TOI that there does not exist any drug in the same name for animals.
The company Pushkar Pharma that produced the vials also supported the hospital claims and confirmed that the drug was actually meant for humans and the confusion was caused by wrong labelling. "It was meant for human use," the company told TOI.
Similar incidents of wrong vaccines have been reported earlier in India. In September last year, nearly 114 children were rushed to hospital in Hooghly district in West Bengal after health workers wrongly administered the Hepatitis B vaccine instead of pulse polio to the children.