Company orders probe into 'rusty syringes'

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Chennai, May 18 (UNI) Becton Dickinson India, which had supplied auto-disable syringes (ADS) for immunisation programme, today said it has ordered a thorough investigation into the allegations of syringes turning rusty in some parts of Tamil Nadu.

BD India Managing Director Ram Sharma said the company was aware of news reports alleging rust in syringes and taking them very seriously as patient safety and quality were its top priorities.

''BD is investigating the matter thoroughly. The company has not been contacted by any government agency and has not yet had an opportunity to inspect samples of the products in question, which were manufactured in our Spanish facility.

''The company has reached out to the Health Ministry requesting to aid our investigation. Our inspection of retained samples from the reported lot, which were retained for quality monitoring purposes, found no defects of any kind,'' he claimed.

He said many companies supplied syringes for the immunisation programme and BD India was one of them.

Globally, five billion injections have been administered with BD SoloShot syringes through UNICEF and other organisations.

''Over the past three years, about 700 million children have been safely immunised with this product in India alone, as part of the Central Government's immunisation programme.

''The product meets the ISO 7886-3 standard and is WHO Performance, Quality and Safety (PQS) approved,'' he added.

Following Tamil Nadu Health Minister M R K Panneerselvam's letter complaining the AD syringes supplied by the Centre were defective, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss instructed Drug Controller General of India to send teams not only to Tamil Nadu but also throughout the country to pick up samples.

He said all these samples would be sent to Central Drug Laboratory, Kolkata, for a through investigation.

These syringes would be examined and tested. The Drug Controller would be ready with a report within a couple of weeks, Dr Ramadoss added.

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