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Government initiatives to prevent the sale of spurious/ adulterated drugs

Some cases of sale of spurious, sub-standard and expired drugs have been detected by the State Drugs Control Authorities. A statement giving the details of number of drugs samples tested, number of drugs samples declared not of standard quality, number of drug samples declared spurious/ adulterated, number of prosecutions launched for manufacturing, sale and distribution of spurious/ adulterated drugs, number of cases decided, number of persons arrested during 2011-12 and 2012-13 and detection of racket of sale of expired drugs as per the feedback available from the States is annexed.

The Government has also taken the following steps to prevent the sale of spurious/ adulterated drugs:

1.    The Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 was amended by the Drugs & Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 2008 to provide for more stringent penalties for manufacture and trade of spurious and adulterated drugs. Certain offences have also been made cognizable and non-bailable.

2.    The Drugs & Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 2008 has also enabled setting up of special designated courts for speedy disposal of cases to deal with the cases of offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. 17 States/UTs have already set up these special Courts.

3.   Guidelines for taking action on samples of drugs declared spurious or not of standard quality in the light of enhanced penalties under the Drugs & Cosmetics (Amendment) Act, 2008 have been forwarded to the State Drugs Controllers for implementation.

4.  A Whistle Blower Scheme has been initiated by the Government to encourage vigilant public participation in the detection of movement of spurious drugs in the country. Under this scheme, the informers would be suitably rewarded for providing concrete information in respect of movement of spurious drugs to the regulatory authorities.

5. On the basis of an Order of the Hon™ble High Court of Allahabad in the Criminal (Misc) Writ Petition No. 16212/2008 Brahmaji vs State of UP and Others, the Government had constituted a Task Force to examine the feasibility of networking and tracking the drugs distribution system in the country from the manufacturer to the retailer to secure the entire supply chain and detect spurious drugs available in the market. Different options through the use of information technology were considered by the Task Force, including providing bar code on the label of the drugs, for identifying and tracking their movement from the manufacturer to the consumer. On the basis of the recommendations of the Task Force and further consultation with the stakeholders, Government conducted a study with the help of the National Informatics Centre to examine the feasibility of networking and tracking the drugs distribution system in the country from the manufacturer to the retailer by the use of modern information technological tools to detect spurious drugs available in the market.

6. Overseas inspections of drug manufacturing sites to ensure quality of imported bulk drugs were started in 2011.

7. 381 additional posts have been created since 2008 for strengthening CDSCO headquarters and ports / zonal offices.

8. An outlay of Rs.3000 crore has been made in the 12th Plan for further strengthening of the drug regulatory system of the country, both at the central and state level.

This information was given by the Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha yesterday.

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