Sub-standard medicines

Published at June 14, 2018 12:47 AM 0Comment(s)3591views

Sub-standard medicines

Few years ago nearly 50 spurious and sub-standard drugs were detected by Drugs and Food Control Organization in J&K. The state government passed instructions to ensure foolproof mechanism for procurement of medicines and diagnostic equipments as per the requisitions made by various health authorities after their rigorous testing from the designated laboratories. People have been expressing concern over the circulation of spurious and sub-standard drugs in the market and the lack of proper monitoring on part of the government. The spurious drug industry thrives on the ignorance of consumers and lack of effective regulatory system. What makes it difficult to stamp out their circulation is that the spurious medicines are packaged in such a way that it is almost impossible to differentiate them from the genuine ones. 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. The existing drug testing laboratories also need to be updated. There is also a need for stricter punishment for the people involved in spurious drug racketing. The government should announce cash rewards for anyone providing evidence of spurious drug manufacturing or selling. The spurious drug trade can also be checked by strengthening the Drugs Controller’s Organization with intelligence and legal cell and proper surveillance system. Implementation of the guidelines laid by the Centre for efficient communication networking with respect to inter-state movement of the spurious drugs can also help the cause. The spurious and sub-standard drugs pose a serious risk to the lives of people and it calls for collective efforts to stamp out the menace. People have been let down by the government approach in dealing with the grave issue. The government needs to shun its reactionary approach to problems. Doctors and paramedics are part of the system and they have a responsibility to work within to bring change.


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