Over 10% of drugs in the government supply chain were found to be ‘Not of Standard Quality’ (NSQ), according to the largest ever survey by the Health Ministry to determine quality of drugs.
In comparison, the estimated percentage of NSQ drugs from samples taken from retail outlets across the country was 3% while 0.023% were found to be spurious.
The extent of NSQ and spurious drugs for both retail outlets as well as government sources in the country together was estimated to be 3.16% and 0.0245% respectively, the survey found.
The statistical design of the drug survey included as many as 224 drug molecules belonging to 15 different therapeutic categories of the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) 2011.
As part of this survey, 47,954 drug samples relating to 23 dosage forms were drawn from 654 districts of 36 states and UTs from the supply chains including retail outlets, government sources and from eight airports and seaports, an official statement said.
“The estimated percentage of NSQ drugs from government sources in India was 10.02% and for spurious drugs was 0.059%.
“During analysis of samples declared NSQ from government supply chain, the following trend was observed - civil hospital stores: 11.03% NSQ, state government medical store depots: 10.44% NSQ, ESI dispensaries 9.01% NSQ and CGHS dispensaries - 4.11% NSQ,” the survey done by National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), Noida said.
In terms of government supply chain, states like Meghalaya, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Telangana, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab were on the higher side of NSQ (11.39-17.39%) whereas Chandigarh, Delhi, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal were on the lower side of NSQ (0-7.93%).
The estimated percentage of NSQ and spurious drugs from retail outlets in the country was 3% and 0.023% respectively.
Out of 69 tests performed on the samples from retail outlets, they failed in 28 tests, said the ‘Survey of the extent of Problems of Spurious and Not of Standard Quality Drugs’.
In terms of retail outlets, states/UTs like Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Puducherry, Gujarat, and Punjab were on the higher side of NSQ (4.20-8.82%) whereas, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadra and Nagar Haveli, Goa, West Bengal, Delhi, Jharkhand and Kerala were on the lower side of NSQ (0-1.97%), the report said.