Fake, spurious drugs annual sales at Rs 300 cr in NCR

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (UNI) With annual sales of Rs 300 crore, the business of fake and spurious drugs is growing by leaps and bounds in the national capital region, a survey said.

According to a latest survey by Assocham, the sale of fake and spurious drugs has increased up to 20-25 per cent of the total medicines sold in the NCR region. To keep check on such nefarious activities of fake and counterfeit drugs manufacturers, the chamber has recommended the creation of NCR Drugs Protection Authority.

On the basis of the data collected from the authentic drug manufacturers in the region, the industry chamber found that intensification of the spurious drugs in the region has severely affected the annual turnover of original drugs manufacturers in Ghaziabad, Meerut, Noida, Faridabad, Gurgaon and Sonepat by about 25 per cent.

The law punishing the fake drug manufacturers should be reviewed and stringent provision should be made to punish those who are posing a threat to the life of the patients, the chamber recommended.

''At All India levels, fake and counterfeit drugs are so widely disbursed that their estimates as per latest figure exceed Rs 15,000 crore per annum and therefore, a beginning ought to be made may be with the NCR region,'' Chamber Secretary General D S Rawat said in a statement, adding that Mohan Nagar, Dadri, Surajpur, suburb of Faridabad, Gurgaon and Haryana are the other places where counterfeit drugs are being sold with no fear.

Lack of agencies to keep a strict watch on fake drugs manufacturers and take punitive action to penalise them, the shortages of drug inspectors and proper lab facilities to check purity of drugs, weaknesses in drug distribution system and plenty of uneducated workforce in the NCR, are the factors responsible for promoting the activities of fake drugs manufacturers and druggists.

The fake drugs are available in the popular Over the Counter (OTC) medicines like Crocin, Voveran, Betadine, injections of calcium and syrups like Cosavil.

With the business turning into a massive racket, even the government run hospitals in the NCR have witnessed the availability of fake drugs to the extent of 10-15 per cent.

A large chunk of such drugs completely lack necessary ingredients, estimates for which exceed even 40 per cent. Besides, the fake drugs makers also evade taxation such as excise, VAT and local levies, leading to loss of revenue of thousands of rupees to the government.

The locations such as Bahadurgarh, Ghaziabad, Aligarh, Bhiwadi, Ballabhgarh, Sonepat, Hisar and Punjab are the hub for fake drug manufacturing. These factories are located close to the bordering areas to access bulk supplies in the NCR region.

The NCR has limited drugs inspectors to monitor over 3300 chemists and over 30 per cent chemists are based in its small areas. With no apparent risk, the profit margins for traders manufacturing fake drugs are very high.

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