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Counterfeit Drugs On Rise In India

Counterfeiting is greater in those areas where regulatory and legal oversight is weaker. This easy and lucrative business has attracted organized crime and in most of the countries, the punishment is not sufficiently strong to deter criminals. Counterfeiting is deceptive and immoral in any field. But in health-care, it is criminal and simply unacceptable. Our health is cheap? What our Government has done to eradicate these drugs? Are we using counterfeited drugs? Are we safe?

Counterfeiting can apply to both branded and generic products and counterfeit products may include products with the correct ingredients or with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient active ingredients or with fake packaging. All counterfeit medicines are substandard because they are manufactured and distributed outside of regulatory control and their composition is unpredictable. On the other hand, not all substandard medicines are counterfeit because not all of them have been ‘deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled.

Countries such as India and Brazil, which are major manufacturers of generic drugs, accuse the pharmaceutical industry of using the issue of counterfeit drugs to protect their patents against generic competitors.

"They put people at risk of harm from medical products that may contain too much, too little, or the wrong active ingredient and/or contain toxic ingredients.

in developing countries, especially Africa, counterfeit medicines are commonly available to treat life-threatening conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Research and development-based pharmaceutical companies say that counterfeit medicines pose a threat to patients and they are not driven by commercial interest in fighting the scourge.

Even the life saving drugs are also not spared. There is a little awareness of the problem of counterfeit medicines in the mind of the common people. Governments, N.G.O.s, and other groups working for the social and health concerns should educate the general public by setting up information campaigns, advertisements, banners, hoardings and other means of mass communication. Public should be advised to buy medicines from legitimate sources only.

The simplest and cheapest way to detect counterfeit drugs is to compare the printing, embossing, shape, odour, taste, and consistency of a suspected sample with a genuine product. Physical and chemical properties such as weight, density, refractive index, viscosity, osmolarity, pH, crystal morphology, solubility etc. can also be used to identify counterfeit drugs.

Do you check medicines while purchasing?

Have you ever suffered due to counterfeited medicine?

What step should be taken to ban this drugs? 
 

Shrusti Jain

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