Bitter pill: 1 out 4 drugs is spurious
RECOVERY OF huge stock of fake drugs at Aligarh is just the tip of the iceberg. The industry in Uttar Pradesh is churning out fake drugs worth around Rs 400 crore per annum when the Central Government proposes to award death penalty to those charged with manufacturing and trading spurious drugs. One out of four tablets sold in the market is spurious, the report states the report submitted by the Public Analyst Laboratory (PAL).india Updated: Jan 20, 2006 01:05 IST
RECOVERY OF huge stock of fake drugs at Aligarh is just the tip of the iceberg. The industry in Uttar Pradesh is churning out fake drugs worth around Rs 400 crore per annum when the Central Government proposes to award death penalty to those charged with manufacturing and trading spurious drugs. One out of four tablets sold in the market is spurious, the report states the report submitted by the Public Analyst Laboratory (PAL).
Ghaziabad, Agra, Meerut, Saharanpur, Aligarh, Kanpur and Bareilly have emerged as major manufacturing centres of fake drugs. Allahabad, Gorakhpur and Varanasi have been identified as major trade centres. Every day, fake drugs worth crores of rupees are supplied from these cities to various corners of the State and it also finds way into the neighboring States.
The spurious drug business is a two-way traffic. Fake drugs manufactured in UP are supplied to neigbouring States while fake drugs manufactured in Delhi, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar are pushed in the drug market of Uttar Pradesh. Wrappers of medicines manufactured by renowned companies are used to market the drug. At Aligarh, police seized a large quantity of branded drugs from a fake drug unit.
Though the State Drug Control Department has a full-fledged machinery to check the activities of the spurious drug traders, the fake drug industry is flourishing right under the nose of the officers. Action against the fake drug manufacturer is mere formality of the department. Though officials had lodged FIR against 25 persons but none of them were taken into custody.
State Drug Controller Sadguru Prasad says in December licence of six drug units were cancelled after they were caught manufacturing sub-standard drugs.
Sixteen units were found manufacturing sub-standard drugs and Drug Control Department suspended their licence, Prasad said.
The spurious and sub-standard drugs are not only being sold over the counter, a bulk of fake drugs is supplied to the government hospitals, too. Out of the 640 drug units in Uttar Pradesh, majority are registered with the Central Medical Drug Store Department (CMSD). These units supply drugs to hospitals under the rate contract fixed by the Health Department. Samples collected by the Drug Inspectors from the stores of the hospitals failed in the laboratory test. Majority of the drugs were found sub- standard, said a Health department official.
How much is the Health department concerned over the spurious drugs could be gauged from the fact that 5,000 samples of suspected spurious drug are pending for test at the Public Analyst Laboratory (PAL).
Health department report says that in the year 1990, 12 per cent of the drugs analysed in the laboratory were found spurious. In 2004, out of 550 samples analysed in the laboratory, 30 per cent were found spurious.
Drug Inspectors collected 3,000 suspected spurious drug samples in the year 2004-2005. But 2,500 samples were not analysed in the Public Analyst Laboratory. No action has been taken against the chemist or the manufacturers caught selling fake drugs. Eighty per cent of the samples sent to PAL were rejected by the analyst since the samples expired before the test.