Barring the way of fake drugs
India is the third-largest drug producer globally by volume and 14th by value, with an estimated 5,000 production lines. This is an impressive record, but it is being over-shadowed by the growth of the fake drug market in the country. Even globally, counterfeit drugs form a growing problem. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that counterfeit drug prevalence rates fall between 10% and 30% in the developing world, as compared to 1% or less in developed countries.
A recent report shows the extent of the prevalence of counterfeit drugs in the Indian market. Maharashtra is the worst affected, with 23% of the medicines in the state found to be ‘not of standard quality’. For Tamil Nadu, this number is 13%, Kerala 9.2%, Gujarat 8.5%, Karnataka 7.2%, UP 6.9%, J&K 6.08% and Rajasthan 5.8%. Spurious drugs, which can take the benign form of simple sugar pills, also have huge destructive capabilities. A large portion of fake drugs seized by the government were found to contain toxic chemicals like mercury, not to mention heavy metals. These chemicals, when ingested normally, are hugely dangerous. When taken as a substitute for genuine medicines, however, spurious drugs can be fatal. The government, thus, has started a campaign to
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