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Low conviction hinders fight against spurious drugs

  • 17/03/2019
  • Spurious drugs can have harmful side-effects and can even kill. Yet India has been able to decide only 35 cases of the 606 prosecutions launched against the manufacture, sale and distribution of spurious or adulterated drugs from 2015 to 2018, according to figures provided by the Drug Controller.
  • The 54th Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilizers noted that “considering the size of the country and the huge quantum of medicines being distributed and sold in the country, this sample size is not adequate to measure the actual problem of spurious and non-standard quality drugs in the country.”
  • There is an urgent need for time-bound decisions on prosecutions launched against manufacture, sale and distribution of spurious and non-standard quality drugs. Special courts should be opened in all states/UT and these courts may also impressed upon the need for timely disposal of cases.
  • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had conducted a country-wide survey for the years 2014-16 to determine the extent of spurious/ not of standard quality of drugs in the country. A total of 47,012 drug samples were tested/analysed out of which 1,850 samples were declared as not of standard quality and 13 samples were declared spurious.
  • The Parliamentary Committee has strongly recommended that the government take adequate measures to considerably increase the number of samples of drugs to be tested so as to instil fear in those who indulge in sale/distribution of spurious/non-standard quality drugs.