Substandard Drugs Rampant in Jammu and Kashmir, Posing a Serious Health Risk
- 17-Apr-2023 3:22 PM
- Journalist: S. Jayavikraman
India: There are troubling reports surfacing about sub-standard drugs in the pharmaceutical industry of Jammu and Kashmir. This situation is affecting the general public as well as the government-provided affordable medicines. The official records indicate that around 28 drugs, including those from Jan Aushadi and J&K Medical Supplies Corporation Limited, are marked as substandard.
The pharmaceutical industry in the region, regardless of its size, continues to face challenges with falsified medical products and unfit drugs being sold. Although incidents have been reported in the recent past, action has yet to be taken.
According to official records from the Drug and Food Control Organization, there is clear evidence that substandard drugs are being sold in the market and the problem is increasing each month. In September 2022, there were 17 fake or unfit drugs on the list, but in the past five months, that number has risen to 28. Shockingly, even medicines that are approved, manufactured, or provided by the government under various schemes have been included on the list for the past eight months, yet no action has been taken.
The much-recommended Folic Acid Tablets, particularly for pregnant women, provided under the affordable Jan Aushudi scheme have also been on the list of substandard drugs for over eight months.
The Drug and Food Control Organization has issued a statement stating that the sample provided is of substandard quality and does not pass the required tests. The organization also mentioned that the Compound Sodium Lactate Injection supplied by JKMSCL has failed the Sterility test.
In Jammu and Kashmir, several substandard drugs are being sold openly, including Olmisave AM-40, Hexomide, Meroin (1gm) Injection, Majocid Gel Suspension, Rare-D, Pica-40, Glitip-2 Forte, PanKav-40, Potassium Chloride For Injection Concentrate U.S.P (for SKIMS supply), Ofloxacin Opthalmic Solution IP 0.3% (JKMSCL Hospital Supply), Pramide, Acto Flox-OR, Lecoxib-P, Monzem LC, Septodine 10%, Para-MF Suspension, Diclopic Aqua, Lcet-M KID, Robero-20, XEFUR 500, Paracetamol Tablets IP (JKMSCL Hospital Supply), Septodine 10% (SKIMS supply), Sooth-SP, Gaacef-200 DT, and Omeace-P. It is crucial to ensure that the drugs that are being used comply with the required standards to ensure the safety and well-being of the consumers.
Counterfeiting, tampering, and diversion of pharmaceuticals have been on the rise in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in Kashmir, due to several reasons. These include an imbalance between supply and demand for authentic products, poor practices along the supply chain, inadequate quality control at the manufacturing site, weak regulatory measures, and non-adoption and incorrect use of anti-counterfeiting technology. Lack of awareness also adds to this problem.
The authorities plan to act under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. Depending on the gravity of the situation, the actions taken may range from suspension of license or withdrawal of permission, but if deemed necessary, prosecution under court of law may follow.