The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drug makers take up battle against fakes

Calcutta, Sept. 3: The Indian pharmaceutical industry has taken up cudgels against manufacturers of spurious and fake products. Almost 15 per cent of the Rs 17,000-crore industry is ruled by duplicate products, which results in an annual loss of around Rs 2,500 crore for branded manufacturers.

Spurious pharma products are not unique to India. However, WHO estimates that almost 35 per cent of the world’s fake products are from India. Though the production of fakes is mainly concentrated in northern India, they are not only distributed throughout the country, but also to Bangladesh and Burma.

The Indian Drugs Act states that spurious drug manufacturers can face imprisonment for not less than three years and a fine of Rs 5,000. The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, a body comprising 14 major players in the country, has appointed former director general of police Julio Riberio as the head of a task force to control the threat.

The IPA organises regular seizure operations on at least three to four companies every month. Of the states, Tamil Nadu has the weakest drug administration. Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Delhi form the main base for spurious drug manufacturers. The eastern and north-eastern states are used as routes to distribute the products.

Wockhardt hologram

Wockhardt Ltd today said it would introduce holograms in the packaging of all its formulations very soon to check the burgeoning spurious drugs market in the country. “Beginning with Practin tablets, we have decided to introduce holograms in all our products in view of the increasing number of counterfeit medicine manufacturing companies which are cheating consumers,” Wockhardt product manager Kashyap Nansi told reporters here.

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