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WHO clarifies that there is no actual study by WHO concluding that 35% of the world spurious drugs are produced in India

WHO clarifies that there is no actual study by WHO concluding that 35% of the world spurious drugs are produced in India



 

The Central Drug Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO), the drug regulatory authority of India conducted a nation-wide survey in 2009 to put to rest allegations of huge proportion of fake drugs being made in India. During the survey, over 24,000 samples were collected from all over India and tested. It was found that only 11 samples or 0.046% were spurious. An earlier survey funded by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and undertaken by the International Pharmaceutical Federation, a global federation representing three million pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists worldwide, lifted and tested of 10,000 samples. In that survey 3.1% of drugs were found to be counterfeit. But counterfeit could just mean that they were copies of branded drugs. It does not mean that the ingredients in the drug were substandard or fake. These very low figures are a far cry from the figures quoted by media which range from 10% to 25% of drugs in the country being spurious drugs.

WHO has stated in a letter dated 31st August 2012 to Dr.Arun K.Panda, Jt.Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, that WHO had no such study conducted regarding fake drugs menace in India in the past several years. This has also been clarified by the Office of the WHO representative to India, and has subsequently got reflected in the report on countrywide survey of spurious drugs 2009 by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, which is reproduced in the letter as follows …

“The figures quoted in the media range from 10% to 25% of drugs in the country being spurious drugs. These are totally unsubstantiated reports.
For example, on the basis of an alleged WHO report, the media frequently reports that 35% of fake drugs produced in the world come from India. However, when enquired , WHO has neither confirmed its authenticity nor did hint the source of such figures. WHO Representative in India has clarified that there is no actual study by WHO concluding that 35% of the world spurious drugs are produced in India. He has also regretted that occasionally some individuals in the media and the organisations use WHO references incorrectly and even irresponsibly.”

Despite such clarifications from the WHO, the media continue to repeat this figure.PSM India initiative urges media to put a halt to these false reports and help in encouraging to build a strong mechanism towards patient safety and access to quality healthcare in India.

link to letter By WHO Representative to India, Dr.Nata Manabde