16 September 2016
The Telangana Drug Control Authority lifted samples from 53 batches of the medical fluid supplied by Nagpur-based Haseeb Pharmaceuticals after doctors at Sarojini Devi Eye Hospital alleged contamination. Thirteen people who underwent cataract surgeries in the hospital contracted drug-resistant bacteria that threatened their vision.
Doctors who performed the surgeries alleged Ringer’s Lactate (RL) solution used to irrigate the eyes during surgery was contaminated. Testing at the hospital’s microbiology lab confirmed the presence of the bacteria in the solution. This result was also corroborated by microbiology tests done at Osmania General Hospital. The government-appointed external committee of doctors gave a clean chit to surgeons who performed the surgery.
DCA had collected samples of products supplied by the pharma company from across the State. The results of the first batch of products tested revealed the fluids had failed sterility test. According to DCA sources, the products are being manufactured in unsterile environment. This has been corroborated through inspections performed by Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. When contacted, Amrut Rao, Director, DCA, said a report has been sent to the government even as test results of other batches are awaited.
The Telangana State Medical Services and Infrastructure Development Corporation has set aside stock from the company and stopped payments to it. It was learnt that the pharma company has challenged the results of DCA’s testing.