The drugs control administration (DCA) in Kerala has stopped supply, distribution and sale of Goldpride 200mg, an anti-psychotic medication made from amisulpride, for report of death of nine inmates of three mental rehabilitation centres in Kottayam district in a span of one week after allegedly consuming this drug, according to the drug inspector of Changanassery.
The department is waiting for test report from the government laboratory at Thiruvananthapuram and actions will be taken against the manufacturing company and the distributors, said Drugs Controller, Revi S Menon.
According to Elizabeth Melvin, the drug inspector at Changanassery in Kottayam district, the drug was being supplied to the rehabilitation centres by a C&F agent of Gentech Healthcare Private Limited whose office address was printed on the strip as it is located at Siddhi Vinayak Tower at Makarba in Ahmedabad in Gujarat. But when the company’s website was searched for contact, the address given there was of a local place (Rohini) in New Delhi.
The C&F agent who was supplying the medicines to the rehabs told that he was getting bills for the products in New Delhi address, but address on the medicine strip is different. He said the same drug, Goldpride 200mg, is in the market all over Kerala for several years and many marketers are supplying it to so many hospitals. He said he produced all documents before the authorities and to the police officials.
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When Pharmabiz contacted Dr. Viranchi Shah, president of Gujarat State Board of the Indian Drugs Manufacturer’s Association (IDMA), he said there is no company operating in Ahmedabad in that name and the another place name given on the strip (Rai) is in Haryana. He said it is likely to be a spurious drug and his association will enquire its whereabouts.
Meanwhile the health department in Kerala has ordered inquiry into the incident. According to information shared by the drug inspector at Changanassery the three rehabilitation centres are working in the same district and one C&F agent was supplying the drug to a distributor who distributed it to the mental hospitals. All the nine inmates, three each at Puthujeevan Trust Hospital for Psychological Medicine and De-addiction in Changanassery, Sanjivani Rehabilitation Centre in Nedumkunnam and Jeevan Jyothi Rehabilitation Centre in Kurichy, died in one week.
Another shocking thing is that, according to an investigation by the Additional District Magistrate, 33 inmates had died in the Puthujeevan Trust in Changanassery within the last eight years. Police is enquiring all the cases. According to sources, the drug Goldpride was a regular medicine prescribed by the psychiatrists in these rehabs owned by private people.
Elizabeth Melvin said there are 60 patients in Changanasserri rehab centre, 51 in Nedumkunnam and 50 in Kurichi centre. To a query she said the Goldpride, a branded product from Amisulpride is in the market for long and is supplied to several centres. After the death of the mental patients the C&F agent was asked to stop the supply, she told Pharmabiz.