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    Nagpur: The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has exposed a bogus medicine racket and seized 21,600 tablets that had been passed off as antibiotic ciprofloxacin from a government hospital in Nagpur, an official said on Saturday. Three persons, including a Thane resident who is already in jail in a similar case, have been booked in connection with the seizure, he said.

    An FDA official said the medicine was purchased through the government contract process last year. It was recently seized from the Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital, which supplies medicines to state-run facilities in the district.

    The fake tablets of ciprofloxacin, which is prescribed to treat a number of bacterial infections, worth crores of rupees were supplied to many government hospitals across Maharashtra, said the FDA official.

    In March 2023, the FDA had picked samples of ‘ciprofloxacin’ tablets from a state-run healthcare facility in Kalmeshwar tehsil, about 40 km from Nagpur, and sent it to a government lab in Mumbai for testing, said a police official.

    The test report, which came in December 2023, showed that the tablets had no medicinal value as they had no trace of ciprofloxacin at all, he said.

    Since the tablets had been supplied through the Nagpur-based Indira Gandhi Government Medical College and Hospital, FDA officials recently raided the store there and seized a stock of 21,600 tablets of the same brand.

    Investigations revealed that the drug was manufactured by a bogus company named ‘Refined Pharma, Gujarat’. “The company does not exist,” the official said.

    The Kalmeshwar police have booked Vijay Shailendra Choudhary of Thane, Hemant Dhondiba Mule, a resident of Latur, and Mihir Trivedi of Bhiwandi near Thane in connection with this case.

    Prime accused Choudhary is already in jail in a bogus medicine sale case. Choudhary had given the tablets to Trivedi, who passed them onto Mule for supply to government facilities, the officials added.

    • Published On Feb 4, 2024 at 06:22 AM IST

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