SME Pharma Industry Confederation, representing small and medium pharmaceutical manufacturers in the country, has expressed distress at reports that India accounts for a whopping 35 per cent of the spurious drugs worldwide.

“The statement is baseless and factually incorrect and damages the export potential of the country’s pharmaceutical industry,” said the Confederation.

It said the Union Government through the offices of the Drug Controller both at the Centre and in States picks up 40,000 to 50,000 samples of drugs every year and only about 3 per cent of the samples are found not up to the prescribed quality standards. Only 0.29 per cent of them are found to be spurious, it added. Sub-standard drugs are those with minor manufacturing defects like chipping of the tablets, labelling deficiency or suffering from deterioration because of storage conditions not being maintained as labelled on the medicines.

“This is a false propaganda which had forced the Central Government to pick up samples of medicines in an organised manner analysis of which showed that out of 24,000 samples of drugs tested, only 11 were found to be spurious, which is a proportion much below the earlier findings of the World Health Organisation,’’ said Lalit Kumar Jain, senior vice-chairman of SME Pharma Industries Confederation.

“The reputation of Indian drugs in the international market is so good that even the Chinese are resorting to manufacture of medicines with ‘Made in India’ labels,’’ he added.

“Multinational and large Indian companies likely to be taken over by multinationals in India have unleashed this phobia to enhance their takeover value by eliminating competition from small and medium pharma units that have demonstrated their capability without any Government of India support to provide quality medicines at affordable prices not only for India but also for the developing world,’’ said the Confederation.

The Confederation has also demanded that the Union Government through the Central Department of Pharmaceuticals speed up exploration of the option of a common code of ethics for the pharmaceuticals industry.

“If one is created by the pharmaceutical industry soon, it will hopefully bring down the prices of medicines to a reasonable level," said Mr. Jain.

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