Spurious Drugs

It is an alarming situation that should cause concern to all that India is the largest counterfeit and spurious drug manufacturing country in the world. It produces spurious drugs worth Rs.15000 Cror...

It is an alarming situation that should cause concern to all that India is the largest counterfeit and spurious drug manufacturing country in the world. It produces spurious drugs worth Rs.15000 Crores annually and Jammu and Kashmir is the biggest consumer of these drugs. The statistics made available by the international organization like the World Health Organization states that thirty five percent of the world's spurious drugs are produced in India. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has in a study revealed that seventy five percent of world's fake drugs originated in India. With most of the fake drug manufacturing being based in Punjab, Haryana and U.P Jammu and Kashmir for its proximity to these states has been recipient of bulk of the drugs and medicines manufactured in these states. It is believed that 'sixty one drug brands from nine therapeutic categories covering medication to treat cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, allergies, tuberculosis, hypertension, tuberculosis, malaria as well multivitamins preparations and other common ailments are faked. The Jammu and Kashmir particularly the Kashmir Valley for its being embroiled in a conflict situation as compared to other states in India has the highest incidence of stress related diseases that include cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes and psychiatric problems. In the absence of tradition of computing the health problems on scientific lines in the state it is difficult to identify the magnitude of different ailments in the state and the impact of counterfeit medicines on the health of people. The health sector with all tall claims made by the government about its being a priority sector has been dealt ham-handedly. This sector particularly in Kashmir valley has not only been suffering on account of effective supervision, monitoring and direction but for coordination amongst various organizations connected with the health of common people. Instead of breathing in new life and vibrancy in the health services the government has allowed the department to stagnate for about past one decade. It has this stagnation in the organization that has been contributing to the messy health situation in Kashmir. There can be no denying that the office of drug controller exists in the state for decades but as for its working is concerned it is yet to show its presence. It goes without saying that it has but for the failure of the health and drug controllers departments that Kashmir has become haven for fake, counterfeit, spurious and adulterated drugs. It is no secret that hundreds of fake drugs are being dispensed to patients with impunity in Kashmir. In an overwhelmed market of spurious drugs the only rarity is a genuine drug- the fake drug industry has put lives of patients to a grave risk. There have been reports about conditions of patients worsening after medication or death of patients after injecting of fake insulin or anti-biotics. While one pleads for bringing in accountability in health sector, removing stagnation and injecting fresh blood in it there is also need for taking a holistic view of the marketing of fake and counterfeit drugs in the state.
 The problem of fake drugs flooding the market demands both short and long term measures. While there is immediate need for carrying out marketing checking there is also need of taking a study on the pattern of Drug Controller General's Office to assess the size of fake drug market in Kashmir and to suggest remedial measures for checking the menace. To establish a high-tech laboratory in Kashmir University for carrying out tests of drugs marketed in Kashmir. To bring receiving of any kinds of gifts by medicos from drug companies within the ambit of the anti-corruption laws and to ban all kind of conducted tours within and outside by companies for doctors serving in government institutions and officers working in the health sector. It is high time that government initiates action much before problem causes more devastation. 

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