Rwanda: Court to hear appeal over fake anaesthetic drug

Saturday November 19 2016

La Croix du Sud Hospital. PHOTO | FILE

La Croix du Sud Hospital. PHOTO | FILE 

By Moses K Gahigi

The victims of the flawed drug administered at La Croix du Sud Hospital are scheduled to appear in court on December 22 for the hearing of their appeal.

The aggrieved victims, who complained of numbness and increased palpitations, had filed a case at the Nyarugenge intermediate court demanding compensation of over Rwf1 billion in damages and reimbursement of medical expenses, although the ruling was made in their favour, the Rwf33 million compensation took them by surprise.

“We want to know how they came up with the Rwf33 million, what did they base that on, the money in the ruling was very little, we asked for more basing it on the extent of the pain this ordeal caused us, and the uncertain future damage this flawed drug could have in our bodies” said Deus Rugigana, the head of the plaintiffs.

The victims say they are bothered because up to now, no one has a clue on the toxicity level of the bad drug that was injected in their bodies.

The hospital which mounted a spirited court battle was relieved after the ruling went against abacus pharma, but the pharmacy also appealed the ruling.

The hospital lawyers had argued that the problem did not come out of an error in administering the drug, but the lidocaine anaesthetic drug was the problem, which exonerates their client.

The plaintiffs said what the court gave them as an explanation for such compensation, is that the money asked was too much, without any reason for the ‘negligible figure’ reached.

All consumer goods and food products imported from outside are channelled through the Rwanda Standards Board.

Government is yet to come up with a system of examining the authenticity of drugs entering the country, as the only pre-requisite looked at before allowing drugs into the country is the certificate from the manufacturer.