Curriculum should include detection of spurious drugs, says the former President

The former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Tuesday urged the Centre and the State Governments to enforce the Drugs and Cosmetics Act effectively since there is a perception that a number of pharmaceutical products sold in India are counterfeit or of substandard quality.

“These drugs are generally made by unscrupulous elements and supplied surreptitiously to chemist shops through illegal channels,” he said.

Dr. Kalam, who was the chief guest at the first convocation of JSS University, presented gold medals to the meritorious M. Pharm students of J.S.S. College of Pharmacy, Mysore, and J.S.S. College of Pharmacy, Ooty (in Tamil Nadu) here.

Later, in his convocation address, the former President said the pharmacy education had an important role to play in equipping students with the knowledge and ability to detect the entry of unauthorised drugs into circulation.

He suggested that the pharmaceutical curriculum must include subjects which would enable detection of spurious pharmaceutical products by all pharmacists.

Dr. Kalam called upon the pharmaceutical graduates to make every effort to check the manufacture, sale and distribution of spurious drugs.

Drugs and Cosmetics Act should be enforced effectively to curb this practice and the pharmacists must ensure that their sources of supply of drugs were reliable to check the menace of spurious drugs.

Referring to a report about how anti-cholesterol drugs could cause depression, Dr. Kalam, who addressed the students as “healthcare missionaries”, advised them to evolve themselves to handle such complex interlinking of the human body and drug effect.

As many as 119 students of the pharmacy colleges from Mysore and Ooty received their master of pharmacy degrees at the convocation.

Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji, who is the chancellor of JSS University, presided over the programme. JSS University Pro-Chancellor B.N. Betkerur was present and JSS University Vice-Chancellor B. Suresh spoke.