India’s Fake Drugs Pose Global Public Health Threat


The drugs which are manufactured in India are sold around the world. Trade of Indian medicines has been limited by the governments around the world because of the fake, counterfeit and substandard drugs. Some of the governments around the world blocked the usage of Indian drugs. These fake drugs not only threaten lives, they also destroy the authenticity of Indian drugs and discourage patients from using life saving drugs.

Rise in the sale of fake, counterfeit, substandard drugs

During the last year, counterfeit drugs were seized in Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore and many other cities in India. According to a recent report by London based university and New Delhi based university, 80% of the pharmacies in Delhi and 40% pharmacies in Chennai are selling at least some substandard medicines. Also 7% samples from wholesalers were found to be substandard. More than 90 % of the pharmacies said that they had been approached by wholesalers to sell low quality drugs. These low quality drugs provide enormous profits to the manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers.


Looking at the global arena, European Union seized Indian drugs citing concerns over false and counterfeit drugs in 2008. Srilankan, Nigerian, Japanese and US governments blocked Indians drugs. It is also estimated that Indian substandard drugs form 30% of all the medicines sold in some regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Substances used in the place of active ingredients for the preparation of medicine

The report says that the medicines which are spoiled due to poor package are being recovered and are sold. It also mentioned that expired drugs are repacked with new labels. Most of them lack the active ingredient. The active ingredients are being replaced by chalk or talcum powder and road paint as substitute in some cases. Many people are dying because of usage of the poisoned drugs which have been prepared by these bad ingredients.

Impact of fake drugs on Public Health

According to the Federation of the India, counterfeiting leads to many serious health related issues. Public health is kept at stake selling these drugs. Serious actions are to be taken for improving the quality of the Indian drugs as the public health is being associated with them. Patients who used these drugs to cure their ailments are battling for their lives. Thousands of people die every year either due to poisoning of bad ingredients or as the counterfeit drugs cannot cure the ailments. Unless dire steps are taken, the counterfeit medicines will keep spreading in the Indian drug market.

Various Methods used for stopping the fake drugs sale


To stop the spread of the counterfeit drugs over the world necessary steps are to be taken. To avoid this, officials of the health ministry should be honest determining the counterfeits. According to Roger Bate, a fellow at American Enterprise Institute, new technologies are to be used for making the drug industry free from fake, substandard and counterfeit drugs. One of the best procedures for checking medicines is to assign each medicine with a unique serial number which can be cross checked by using the central database. Other technologies like barcodes reduce the substandard drugs to a great extent.

These substandard drugs are showcasing a bad Indian medical system during its transitional period, where India is growing economically. We need to take utmost care in these areas using the above mentioned technologies and by enforcing anti-counterfeit laws and more penalties for manufacturing and distributing fake drugs. Otherwise it will badly impact our country’s image.

Sources:

India’s Fake Drugs Are a Real Problem- The Wall Street Journal
Fake Drugs Are a Real Menace- livemint.com

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