New Delhi: As various organizations claimed that the percentage of spurious drugs in the country was more than 30%, the Centre on Wednesday said the extent of suspected counterfeiting was only about 3.1%.
Union minister for health and family welfare Anbumani Ramadoss told the Lok Sabha though the government has never conducted any study in this regard, two pilot exercises have evaluated the extent of counterfeit drugs in the country —one by the office of deputy drugs controller (DDC), Western Zone, and the other by an independent forum known as SEARPharm. “A total of 3,246 samples were drawn in the (DDC) exercise. The results of the samples tested revealed five as counterfeit and two not complying to the standards,” Ramadoss said.
‘Mint’ has done a series of stories on the menace of fake drugs in India and the bureaucratic logjam that has kept off legislation from being cleared that would lead to stringent punishment to makers and sellers of fake drugs. On 16 August, ‘Mint’ reported that a survey conducted by SEARPharm and commissioned by WHO had found merely 3% of the drugs to be suspect fakes. The drug controller general of India is also planning to roll out his nationwide study to map the extent of counterfeit drugs in the country from 1 December.
Bhuma Shrivastava contributed to this story.