Chandigarh : The high-level committee that was constituted by the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to investigate the speculations of the Propofol drug that led to the death of five patients in the institute, submitted its report to PGIMER director Dr Vivek Lal on Monday.

The committee chairman, Dr SK Gupta, head, department of neurosurgery, said that the committee had conducted several meetings to investigate the matter and the final report has been submitted to the director.

Since the drug was suspected to have killed five people who had undergone orthopaedic and neurosurgeries, a joint investigation team comprising drugs inspectors of the drugs control wing, Chandigarh, and Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO), Sub-Zone Baddi, drew samples of drug Propoven (Propofol injection) on September 2 and were sent to regional drugs testing laboratory, Chandigarh.

As per the CDSCO report, which was received on September 27, the drug has been declared as ‘not of standard quality’ by the laboratory, as it failed in sterility, free fatty acids, pH, Propofol dimer and bacteon test.

The PGI had also sent the samples to Panjab University and its own department of pharmacy for testing, results of which have been included in the internal committee’s report.

“The CDSCO reports were received by the UT health department and so far the PGIMER has not been given the sample testing report. We are waiting for the reports. Since I am out on an official visit, we will examine the committee’s report on Thursday and will take the necessary action”, said Dr Vivek Lal, adding that the UT health department’s samples report had confirmed our suspicion that the substandard drug was responsible for the deaths.

‘Notices already issued, CDSCO to take action on manufacturer’

UT health secretary Yashpal Garg said, “After receiving the reports, the notice was sent to Gupta Medical Store, emergency block, PGIMER, Chandigarh. Further on his disclosure, notice was sent to supplier wholesale firm M/s Shiv Amrit Chemist, Sarangpur village, Chandigarh. Further, notice was served to M/s Biovenice Criticure, sector 20, Panchkula as well. Further, M/s Nixi laboratory, manufacturing firm has been directed to recall all the batches of drug Propoven, including the batch of the drug found not of standard quality.”

“Now, the CDSCO will take the necessary action against the manufacturer,” he added.