“It was enough for us to doubt on it as how a shopkeeper buys a product in higher rates and selling it at lesser prices. We are investigating into the matter,” said Ajay Phatak. It is suspected that the Jodhpur’s shop owner was buying it at Rs 3,400 and he was selling it at Rs2,300. The MRP of the vaccine is Rs4,950.
Jaipur: In a major clampdown, the state drug controllers have seized spurious vaccines used for children and adults for the prevention of meningitis. According to a recent media report, the drug controller office conducted raids in Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh, Bikaner and Kota.
A team, led by drug controller Ajay Phatak had seized four vials of fake vaccines in Jaipur, from a shop on Kalwa Road. The vaccines were indicative of active immunization to prevent invasive meningococcal disease caused by Neisseria meningitidis serogroups A, C, Y and W-135.
The vaccines which are seized are used for children and adults for the prevention of meningitis. According to the World Health Organisation, Meningitis and sepsis together cause more deaths in children under five years of age than malaria.
Meningococcal disease describes infections caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis (also termed meningococcus). It has a high mortality rate if untreated but is vaccine-preventable. While best known as a cause of meningitis, it can also result in sepsis, which is an even more damaging and dangerous condition. Meningitis and meningococcemia are major causes of illness, death, and disability in both developed and under-developed countries. A person suffering from Meningitis complains of fever, stiff neck.
The doctors suggests vaccination against the disease, as vaccines are available against three main bacterial causes of meningitis (Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Haemophilus influenza type b).
During the surprise inspection, the drug controllers immediately differentiated the fake vaccines from the original ones, examining the packing and other related details.
“When we saw both the original packet of the vaccine and duplicate (spurious) packet of the vaccine, we found that there are differences in colour, font size and printing quality. The differences are sufficient to identify the spurious vaccine,” Phatak told TOI.
The drug controller informed the company right away, which was producing the original vaccines.
Spurious vaccines at a retail medical shop is a major concern as the vaccine is commonly used in children.
“During the raid at the shop, the shopkeeper told us that he purchased vaccine from a Jodhpur-based firm. Our team immediately raided the Jodhpur shop and found 15 vials of the vaccine,” he told the daily.
Phatak said that it is suspected that the Jodhpur’s shop owner was buying it at Rs 3,400 and he was selling it at Rs2,300. The MRP of the vaccine is Rs4,950.
“It was enough for us to doubt on it as how a shopkeeper buys a product in higher rates and selling it at lesser prices. We are investigating into the matter,” he said.
The raid was conducted by the Rajasthan drug controller officer, following the alert given by the Delhi Drug controller.
“We have conducted the raids as we received alert from Delhi’s drug controller office about spurious vaccines,” he added.
The state health department further mentioned that more raids will continue to take place in the state.