Updated on 1 November 2012
India taking steps to curb fake drugs
New Delhi: Imagine if you come to know that the pill you just popped down to get relief from a bad ailment is a fake. The first reaction would be fear followed, of course, by anger and pain. Over a long period of time, the menace of spurious drugs has been a major headache for the union and state governments. However with the Indian media raising giving prominence to the issues in recent times, the government has got serious again about the matter that concerns directly with the health of the masses.
Keeping this in view, the Ministry of Health, Government of India; the World Health Organization (WHO), and the partnership for safe medicine (PSM) have joined hands for international consultation on developing blueprint to combat spurious drugs with use of technology. This will entail a robust detection and authentication mechanism based on modern technologies to identify genuine quality and safe medicines from spurious and unsafe medicines in the supply chain. Also high on agenda is the prompt action against manufacturers and dealers trading with fake and unsafe medicines and violating existing mandatory standards and provisions of the law under the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 (amended until 2008).
Visible stepped up efforts!
The decision to collaborate came in the backdrop of an international workshop ‘Patient Safety and Drug Detection Technology' held at New Delhi on September 10, 2012. The participating governments and NGOs decided that India will collaborate to find an effective mechanism to ensure patients safety prevail over commercial interest and regain consumer confidence in the existing supply chain. Also highlighted was the need for the use of user-friendly technologies to make detection of spurious medicines in the supply chain.
Participants included key government officials, regulatory bodies and leading civil society groups working in India in the interest of the patients and consumers. Key dignitaries included Shri P K Pradhan, IAS, secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Dr Jagdish Prasad, director general of health services, Government of India; Shri C P Singh, IAS, chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), India.
Other dignitaries included Dr Arun Kumar Panda, joint secretary to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India; Dr Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India; Dr Michael Deats (WHO HQ) and Dr Madhur Gupta, (WHO India Country Office); Dr G N Singh, Drug Controller General of India; Mr Anil Rajput, chairman, FICCI CASCADE. Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Hon'ble Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, who was the chief guest at the event, inaugurated the workshop.