Playing with lives
As per details provided by the Drug Controller of the State to a news agency 12,534 samples of drugs were collected in the State since the year 2010 while prosecution proceedings have been initiated against 175 drug suppliers so far.
During the year 2012-13, some 2,365 drug samples were collected and 87 found not having the standard quality and 24 misbranded. Out of the samples collected, 63 were found sub standard and prosecutions against 52 drug suppliers have been launched. During 2013-14, in all 4,874 drug samples were collected and 151 were not of standard quality, 13 were misbranded. Out of these samples, 138 were found sub standard and prosecution against only 62 drug suppliers were initiated. Meanwhile, the drug department has stated that for the ongoing year, 1,722 drug samples have so far been collected and the investigations are going on.
Drugs play as crucial life savers for restoring health, preventing diseases and epidemics. When drugs itself are counterfeit, these pose addictive danger to patients by forced over dosage. Counterfeit medicines are difficult to detect. Fake drugs generally contain the same salts but their purity and quantity is suspected. As a result, patients need to consume more amounts of drugs for relief without desired result. Fake drugs can escape controls hence counterfeiting has become a global problem which has drawn attention of medicos.
According to the WHO reports, India accounts for nearly 35 per cent of world’s spurious drugs market. It is estimated that 40 per cent of the pharma market in our country, i.e. Rs 8,000 Cr is infested with spurious and black marketed drugs. Not only the people’s lives are at stake but also there are serious losses to the exchequer of both Central and State Governments on account of huge revenue of sales tax and excise duty. The Indian pharma industry has a domestic turnover of more than Rs.20, 000 Cr and exports over Rs.10,000 Cr.
Unfortunately, our successive state governments busy in self praise and fighting phantoms with Centre and opposition and in slogans of appeasements to a limited section, are missing this vital issue of social welfare. Present dispensation with limited shelf life left could at least punish the booked culprits before the elections are announced.