6 Jun 2012
Pune: The sale of abortion drug Vecredil is widespread in Beed city and Parli Vaijanath, the latest report of Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has found. Just three distributors sold as many as 6,416 vial packs of the drug in these two places over the last three years.
This is alarming, say FDA officials and doctors, as the drug is sparingly prescribed, that too only in second trimester abortion of foetuses with "lethal anomalies", which generally happens in one in 300 cases. Lethal anomaly means that the foetus has a physical abnormality incompatible with survival or normal life.
The second trimester in a pregnancy is 12 to 20 weeks of gestation, when, experts say, the foetus is grown enough for its sex to be determined in a sonography test.
If a pregnancy is aborted medically before 12 weeks of gestation, a minor surgical procedure is conducted and drugs like Vecredil are not required. "Records of Vecredil sales collated and compiled from three distributors of the drug in Beed and Parli has shown that 6,416 vial packs of Vecredil were sold between April 2009 and June 2012. The figures are definitely alarming," S S Mohite, assistant commissioner (drugs), Thane, told TOI on Tuesday.
One of the two distributors furnished sale data of the drug from 2009 to June 4 whle the others submitted data for the last one or two years only, Mohite said.
Gynaecologists in Pune expressed shock over the huge amount of Vecredil sold in Beed and Parli and confirmed that the drug is used sparingly. "I had to use the drug only once or twice in the last four years," said senior gynaecologist Sanjay Gupte, who is the past president of Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society of India (FOGSI).
Sharing his view, gynaecologist Amit Patankar of Patankar Maternity Hospital said, "Usually one foetus in 300 normal babies born has a lethal anomaly that needs to be terminated with the help of Vecredil. Considering this ratio, the sale of Vecredil in Beed and Parli appears to be quite too high."
Two distributors of Vecredil in Beed collectively sold as many as 4,447 packs of the drug. "One distributor in Beed sold 3,997 packs between March 2009 and June 4, 2012, while the other sold 450 packs in 2011-12. The third distributor did not sell the drug since April this year and it has been asked to submit the sales record prior to 2011," Mohite said.
The wholesaler of Vecredil in Parli sold 1,969 packs between March 2010 and June 2012. “This wholesaler sold 1,275 packs in 2010-11 and 694 packs in 2011-12. It, however, did not sell the drug since April this year. It has been asked to submit the sales record prior to 2010, he added.
As per the report submitted by the Parli city police to the state home department last year, 4,250 vial packs of the drug were sold in Parli alone between April 1, 2010 and June 13, 2011. The police report had also categorically stated that the medical store attached to the hospital run by surgeon Sudam Munde and his gynaecologist wife Saraswati, in whose farm female foetuses were found dumped last year, had sold the highest number of 2,790 vials.
"The police report compiled data from all chemists shops. This only means that the chemists in Parli might have bought Vecredil not only from three distributors in Beed, but also from distributors in Latur and Aurangabad. The data we have collated and complied is based on three sole distributors of the drug in Beed and Parli, who are supposed to be the main suppliers," Mohite said.
FDA has lodged an FIR against one of the two distributors in Beed for hiding the sales details. “Besides, the wholesaler did not maintain the sales records chronologically which also raises suspicion,” Mohite said.
Two more held for dumping foetus T he Beed police on Monday arrested the father and the boyfriend, who is a distant relative, of an unmarried woman in connection with the dumping of one of the female foetuses under a bridge last Saturday. The number of people arrested in the case has now risen to seven.