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Vision damage in Sri Lanka linked toIndian eye drop manufacturer

NewsVision damage in Sri Lanka linked toIndian eye drop manufacturer

NEW DELHI: A popular eye drop manufactured by an Indian company has been accused of having caused severe damage to the eyesight of patients in Sri Lanka who were administered the medicine in government hospitals. The Sri Lankan government has reached out to the said company seeking compensation for the patients.
In the last one month, at least 30 patients in various government hospitals of Sri Lanka, who were administered “Prednisolone” eye drop that is used after cataract surgeries, developed serious complications allegedly due to presence of “Burkholderia Cepacia”, a Bacteria in the said medicine that was administered to them. At least eight of them have lost complete vision. However, unconfirmed reports put this number at atleast 20.
The said medicine is manufactured by “Indiana Ophthalmics”, which is based out of Wadhwan, Surendranagar, Gujarat. The medicine, as per the arrangements, was supplied to the Sri Lankan government by “Alvita Pharma”, a Mumbai-based firm.
The Sunday Guardian reached out to the director of “Indiana Opthalmics” through WhatsApp message and email seeking a response on the matter.
However, none was received till the time the story went to press. The suppliers, “Alivta Pharma”, too, did not share its comment on the matter.
Official sources based in Colombo said that the medicine has been “withdrawn” from use by the government now.
According to sources, the health ministry of Sri Lanka has sent an official communication to the medicine manufacturer to give compensation to the Sri Lankan locals who have been affected by the substandard medicine.
Dr D.R.K. Herath, the Deputy Director General heading the Medical Supplies Division (MSD) of Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka, too, did not respond to The Sunday Guardian’s messages.
People aware of these developments said that since Sri Lanka does not have the setup to test the quality of drugs that are imported from other countries, including Sri Lanka, it relies on the relevant certificate provided by the bodies concerned in the exporting countries.
The impact of these eye drops, Colombo based sources said, have been reported from National Eye Hospital in Colombo, Government teaching hospital, Batticaloa and General hospital in Nuwara Eliya city of the country.
Official sources said that the victims are likely to take legal recourse against the said medical company and the Sri Lankan department responsible for checking the quality of the medicines.

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