During nationwide surprise checks last year, Jammu region had the highest number of substandard drugs

A special nationwide drive to check the quality of drugs by the national regulator for pharmaceuticals and medical devices has found that just a little over two per cent of the drug samples were not of standard quality. No spurious drugs were detected.

The surprise checks, which the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) conducted together with the State Drugs Controllers to test the quality of drugs on a monthly basis, also showed that the Jammu region had the highest number of substandard drugs. Of the 156 samples collected from government hospitals and retail and wholesale dealers in April 2013, only 27 were not of standard quality. The State Drugs Controller has been asked to stop further distribution of these drugs in the market and initiate action against the manufacturers under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.

As part of the surveillance of drugs made in India, the CDSCO collected 1,710 samples in December 2012 from the manufacturing sites falling within the zonal and sub-zonal offices nationwide. Of these, 1,123 were tested at its drug laboratories and only 26 were found to be sub-standard.

Of the 229 samples collected from the north zone, 219 were tested, and seven were found of sub-standard quality. The south zone collected 278 samples, and 112 of them were tested. All of them were found to be of the laid-down standards. The west zone reported seven cases of sub-standard quality out of the 161 samples tested. One sample from the east zone did not conform to the standards. A total of 73 samples were lifted from this zone, but only 27 were sent for testing, the surveillance report said.