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Updated: March 19, 2010 01:29 IST

Inter-State racket in sale of expired drugs busted

S. Vijay Kumar
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V. K. Subburaj
V. K. Subburaj

Health and police officials in Tamil Nadu have busted an inter-State racket that allegedly procured expired drugs from a garbage dumping yard and diverted them back to medical shops for sale after printing fake expiry dates on strips/bottles.

Health and police officials in Tamil Nadu have busted an inter-State racket that allegedly procured expired drugs from a garbage dumping yard and diverted them back to medical shops for sale after printing fake expiry dates on strips/bottles.

According to police sources, the modus operandi of the gang was to procure drugs dumped at Kuppaimedu, a garbage dumping yard spread over a vast area, in Kodungaiyur, and other sources. They would use a chemical to erase the manufacturing/expiry dates from the tablet strips/syrup bottles and print new dates. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Drug Inspectors conducted raids in the last three days and seized the drugs in Chennai and Cuddalore.

Dangerous

“Consuming expired drugs can be dangerous...it can even cause death. An alert has been issued across the State following the seizure. Drug Inspectors have been told to conduct raids in vulnerable areas. An inter-State gang seems to be involved in the racket,” State Health Secretary V.K. Subburaj told The Hindu on Thursday.

After health officials handed over the seizure of expired drugs to the police, Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran directed the police to register a case against six persons on charges of cheating and forgery. Special teams have been formed to apprehend the accused.

“We have sought the assistance of drug experts and forensic officials in this case. The accused managed to get the expired drugs before they were destroyed from Kuppaimedu and changed the dates. It appears that they have been operating for more than six months. The accused will also be booked under the other provisions of law,” M. Rajendran, Inspector of Police (Kodungaiyur), said.

He said the accused used some chemicals, machines and wrappers to make the tablet strips look new. “Even the medical shop staff would not know that they are selling expired drugs. The drugs should have been destroyed…we are investigating how the accused managed to get them,” Mr. Rajendran said.

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