The Sunday Leader

Drug Storage At Cancer Hospital At Risk

By Nirmala Kannangara

The effectiveness of medicines, including chemotherapy drugs, stored in the cold room at the Cancer hospital in Maharagama have been drastically affected due to a breakdown in the cooling machines.
Cancer Institute sources told The Sunday Leader on condition of anonymity that although the cooling machines in the cold room have been malfunctioning over the past one and a half months nothing has been done to rectify the situation.
“Abans came and fixed a machine but then it packed up and once again we are facing the same issue. Although the room temperature has to be below 25C, today’s temperature (Thursday April 5) in the cold room is a little above 37C,” said the sources.
The sources added that due to the drop of temperature over the past one and a half months, the effectiveness of the chemotherapy drug Carboplatinum has come down, leaving most of the patients facing adverse reactions to the drug.
According to him, patients who receive chemotherapy round three and four have shown an adverse reaction after being administered the drug.
“Severe shivering, drop of blood pressure, rashes and profuse sweating are the symptoms and quick medical attention has to be given to the patients,” sources added.
Sources further added that the hospital authority however does not take the situation seriously.
“When the Director Cancer Institute was informed we were told that the reactions cannot be due to the drop of temperature but could be another reason. If so the cause of adverse reaction either could be that the drugs provided by the Health Ministry Medical Stores are of poor quality.
We wanted Director Dr. Kanishka Karunaratne to attend to this immediately to prevent a disaster,” sources claimed.
When contacted, Senior Consultant Oncologist Cancer Hospital Maharagama Dr. Mahendra Perera confirmed to The Sunday Leader that four out-door patients in his clinic fell sick on Thursday. “They developed reactions while receiving the treatment which is unusual. This has been happening for the past few weeks,” Dr. Perera said.
However Dr. Kanishka Karunaratne refuted the allegations and said there is no issue at the hospital cold room and that he was not aware that patients have developed reactions to the chemotherapy drug – Carboplatinum.
“The issue is at the hospital pharmacy. The air conditioner in the pharmacy has been out of order for the past few weeks and we got Abans to install a new AC. But that too  packed up and we had to get another AC immediately. Other than that there is no issue  and you have been misled by your sources,” Dr. Karunaratne said.

6 Comments for “Drug Storage At Cancer Hospital At Risk”

  1. sam

    proper storage of pharmaceuticals is a must otherwise,unwanted reaction will rise,\drugs quality will be reduced due to increase interaction drugs itself


    Airconditioner was fixed in no time over this weekend….!!! But the damage has already been done.
    The senior Nursing officer Sister in charge has documented the reactions following Carboplatin injections. Director was not in the hopsital as he had to go to Puttalam to settle a worker’s protest against dumping “USED CHEMOTHERPY BOTTLES” brought from Maharagama Cancer hospital.

    Hospital has no proper waste disposal system. A private company is making plans for the last One and half years for waste disposal…but never implemented as they did not get their interested equipments and their favoured Incinerator system. Dr Maheepala, From the Health Minstry promised the donors to go ahead with the MOU to start work on the project while he would proceed with the health ministry reqirements to call for tenders to purchase an incinerator. But nothing yet done.

  3. snjaya

    Keep them functioning well if the big ministers have to take chemotherapy, drugs need to be effective to cure disese. poor patients also sufer.

  4. Siripala Maduwage

    Dr Karunarathne is a liar, don’t trust him. He opearates patients, when he is not a qualified surgeon. So many innconect patients die in the hospital due to medical negligence,,no one takes action

  5. Siripala Maduwage

    People in Maharagama are infested withe cancer due to contaminatino of radiation waste from the hospital with Maharagama waterways. Who will help them?

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