Attempts to Obliterate Spurious Drug in the Brink of Failure

by Lluis I. Ojopi
Attempts to Obliterate Spurious Drug in the Brink of Failure
Lluis I. Ojopi
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Distribution of counterfeit medicines is a global problem which branches out to different modus operandi and nature. It has also been an issue since forever. From developed to underdeveloped countries across Asia, each nation has been fighting their own battle with counterfeiting. Yet, since medicines play a crucial role in health and lives, saving individuals from epidemics and prevents diseases on a day-to-day basis, we cannot just halt operations on manufacture of suspicious medicines brands anytime. Even on dubious medical brands such as Viagra or Cialis, the demand is increasing and continuously outpouring.  This is why the authorities find it challenging to dig to the deeper roots of drug fraud.

The manufacture of spurious medicines is one of the most notorious types of medicine counterfeiting. This practice is predominant in India where 35% of spurious medicines around the world originate. This practice, instead of the common method of concocting tablet and capsule particles from chalk, paint or detergent powder, is defined as manufacturing medicine under the name of another drug.  The drug may have been created in imitation of another, substituted either wholly or partly or if it claims to be a product of another manufacturer.

According to a review conducted by The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization campaigning against any illegal practice of manufacturing, distributing and smuggling of any medicine, samples of drugs tested all over India during the last 10 years reveals that about 0.2 per cent to 0.4 per cent of around 40,000 samples fall within the category of spurious drugs. A statement showing the number of samples tested, number of samples declared not of standard quality, number of samples declared spurious, number of prosecutions launched, number of persons arrested and the approximate value of drugs seized State. The government, labeling the practice as menace to society, has already taken various combat measures despite serious implications on public health and complaints of the genuine loss of legitimate companies, yet in their efforts, it seems dubious of completion.

Other countries which fall target of the increasing number of spurious medicines are also cautiously aware of the possible fraudulent mislabeling. Local pharmaceutical companies in Jakarta, Indonesia for instance has been taking countless measures to investigate, yet, with the demographic isolation of other islands in the archipelago, it is challenging to reach other remote areas which are said to house counterfeiting activities which are highly guarded.





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