Drug manufacturers and the chemist who supplied Propofol drugs in PGI after which five patients died have not been found guilty Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) Baddi in its RTI reply, refused to share details. Instead, it said the matter is under investigation.

The case, which was first highlighted by TOI in September last year, has still not named any official or drug suppliers. Even though the drug tested as sub-standard in quality and was also found to be toxic by the Regional Drug Laboratory. CDSCO laboratory in Chandigarh, its manufacturers have not been labelled as guilty. The chemist who dispensed the drug was given a clean chit two months after the incident by the drug controller and licensing authority, Chandigarh.

There was no link established between the deaths and the drug. As the chemist is not the manufacturer or marketing agent, he cannot be held culpable under any licensing authority said Dr Suman Singh, drug controller and licensing authority UT.

The PGI did not lodge a police complaint or conduct an autopsy as the patients’ relatives had denied the same. In the absence of an autopsy report, the deaths cannot be linked with the drug. The internal report of the PGI found the drug as a probable cause. The PGI cannot lodge any complaint with the police as there was no legally strong evidence said a faculty.

Sector 22 resident Prince Bhadula filed an RTI application in the case, in reply to which CDSCO Baddi said, The matter is under investigation and hence cannot be disclosed at this stage. Prince said, I had asked about the status of the case lying with the CDSCO through the RTI. The manufacturers, Nixi laboratories private limited, denied that Propofol from their laboratory caused adverse drug reaction or contamination.

They blamed it on mishandling of the drug by healthcare workers and their competitors maligning their image. Till date, not even relatives of the patients who died or had complications have been compensated by PGI or drug manufacturers as no one has taken responsibility said an official in the PGI administration.