Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

A few months after the major crackdown on the racket circulating spurious blood pressure medicine 'Telma 40' in Cuttack, duplicate Clavam 625 capsules have been seized in Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda raising grave concerns over the alleged rampant circulation and sale of such fake drugs in the state.

It is alleged that Odisha has turned into a safe haven for the fake drugs rackets and they are rampantly spreading their tentacles in the state.

Antibiotic Clavam 625 is used for treating bacterial infections. However, earlier on September 15, 2022, the Drugs Controller had issued an order preventing sale of the medicine. Even though restricted, it is being sold at medicine stores without any restrictions endangering the lives of patients.

Now, the medicine is under the scanner of the Drugs Controller. However, a startling statement from Alkem Laboratories, the manufacturer of the medicine, has only added to the worries. 

As informed by the Drugs Controller, antibiotic Clavam 625 with batch number 22441088 is fake. Alkem Laboratories reportedly informed that the company has not dispatched any medicine bearing the aforementioned batch number. 

After the seizure of the medicine, a sample has now been sent for tests.

Apart from Jharsuguda, the medicine with the same batch number was seized from Kiran Pharmaceutical in Bhubaneswar’s Ashok Nagar area during a raid by the Drugs Controller on Monday. However, the concerned distributor reportedly refused to disclose detailed information from which the fake medicine was procured.

Meanwhile, after the seizure, the Drugs Controller has ordered medicine stores to submit the medicine with the particular batch number, whoever has the stock. 

“At first, this spurious medicine is not supplied from Odisha. As it is not received from any depot, it must have been received from any other source. We had doubt about this particular batch of medicine for some particular features as well as the company packaging,” said Subodh Nayak, Drugs Controller.

While an investigation into the matter to unearth the source of distribution of these fake medicines is in full swing, the Drug Controller has raised suspicion of the involvement of some officials from the department. The Drugs Controller has assured that stringent action will be taken against those involved in the circulation of fake drugs. 

However, the incident has sparked fear among all. “BP medicine Telma 40 was found spurious, then it was Paracetamol and now it is Clavam 625. Most often we consume this antibiotic when experiencing fever. Now, we are in a panic as to which medicine should we trust,” said Rojalin Sahu, a Bhubaneswar resident. 

Another Bhubaneswar resident, Dilip Sahu said, “Circulation of fake medicines is getting more frequent. The government as well as the Drugs Controller must take stringent action to track down and punish the culprits severely. Such steps could help us stay away from consuming fake medicines.”

Reported by Soumya Ranjan Sahu, OTV