Lack of checking and huge profit margin attracts people to the business of manufacturing of fake medicines. Officers of the crime branch of Delhi police, which has busted a major fake medicine racket, said with no mechanism to check whether the medicine a customer is purchasing is fake such rackets continued to run.
According to a rough estimate, fake medicines worth Rs 8 crore are in the market currently. A senior doctor from All India Institute of Medical Sciences (Aiims) said, “There was a meeting at ASSOCHAM House last week on ‘Anti-counterfeiting technologies for drugs’ and representative from police, medicine companies and US patent and trade office attended the meeting. Various ideas to curb the fake medicine racket were shared but on ground level it is difficult to develop a mechanism to stop fake medicine coming in the market.”
Expert from Aiims said it is almost impossible to differentiate between fake and genuine medicine with naked eyes. Sources said representatives from the US were concerned as, according to them, fake medicine racket is running on a very huge scale in India.
“They are worried that these spurious medicines would make their way into the market in other countries. They asked drug controllers to conduct random checking at medicine shops,” the senior doctor added.
Joy Tirkey, additional DCP (crime), Delhi police, attended the meeting on behalf of Delhi police and was also one of the speakers.
“The buyer should insist on taking a receipt for the purchase as it would help establish the originality of medicine later,” he said.
“One of the ideas which could be implemented to prevent such racket is to have a toll free number at the back of the medicine strip. The buyer could SMS the details of medicine to check whether it’s genuine or a fake. The only concern was it will jack up the price of medicine,” the Aiims doctor said.