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3% of Drugs in Indian Market Are Fake: WHO (India)

This article was originally published in PharmAsia News

Executive Summary

A national survey commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO) has concluded that some 3% of drugs in the Indian market are fake, well below the 10% average for such fake medicines in most developing countries. The survey, conducted by the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), comes as the government plans to introduce a measure calling for stringent punishment for manufacture and/or selling of counterfeit drugs. The WHO-backed survey precedes a mammoth exercise being planned by India's drug regulator to also map the extent of this problem in the country. Drug controller general of India (DCGI) M. Venkateswarlu, who has studied the survey report, said it supports the view of the ministry of health and family welfare. "Even if we assume all the 3% they are suspecting to be counterfeit are proved so, it is still far less than the figures doing the rounds right now," he said. The estimates have ranged from a low of 0.5% to a high of 30% of the drugs sold in India. According to WHO, estimates of counterfeit prevalence range from around 1% of sales in developed countries to more than 10% in the developing world. The study does not cover drug batches being exported from India or being disbursed through public or private hospitals. DCGI, meanwhile, is awaiting the final approval from the government to undertake a countrywide survey that could investigate up to 100,000 samples focused on much fewer brands than the FIP study's 56. (Click here for more
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