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Menace of spurious drugs
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Menace of spurious drugs

Post by on Monday, July 18, 2022

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Recently a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by Advocate Altaf Khan in Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court seeking ban on manufacture, storage, sale and distribution of spurious drugs distributed by unregistered companies in Jammu and Kashmir. Taking cognizance of PIL, High Court (HC) issued a notice to government functionaries including Additional Chief Secretary Health & Medical Education Department for filing of response to the contention raised in the PIL. As per the PIL,”the unregistered companies are manufacturing the drugs and the distributors legally not entitled to distribute such medicines are sending the fake, spurious and misbranded drugs in every nook and corner of J&K besides there is no system to control the menace of self-medication in the union territory….” Whatever the result of the PIL may come out, but it is a fact that circulation of spurious drugs in the market is posing a serious risk to the lives of people. Over the years, the ill practice of selling spurious and sub standard dugs refuses to end. Further, it entails huge profit making thus many people find themselves tempted to make a killing out of this trade.  So in order to make it impossible to acquire these drugs and then sell them in the markets stringent measure must be put in place by the concerned authorities. According to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, a drug shall be deemed to be spurious if it is manufactured under a name which belongs to another drug, if it is an imitation of another drug or if it has been substituted wholly or partly by another drug or if it wrongly claims to be the product of another manufacturer. A stringent penalty for manufacture and sale of spurious drugs has also been prescribed under the Act.  Under the provisions of the Act, it is the joint responsibility of Central and State Governments through their respective Drug Control organizations to regulate manufacture and sale of drugs as well as to keep surveillance over possible movement of spurious drugs. Since the manufacture and sale of spurious drugs is primarily a clandestine activity, there is a need for continuous surveillance by the government with active co-operation from people. People on their part should buy medicines only from reputed and well-established chemists. Public information campaigns should be launched in this regard. The spurious drug trade can also be checked by strengthening the Drugs Controller’s Organization with intelligence and legal cell and proper surveillance system. Keeping in view the serious implications of spurious drugs on public health as well as the loss to genuine manufacturers, govt and the concerned authorities need to unearth the sources wherefrom these drugs pour into the market. Unless those sources are decimated, spurious drugs will always keep finding newer outlets. 

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