‘17% drug samples found substandard in J&K’

Srinagar: Results of surprise checks conducted by the central drug regulator’s office show a high concentration of substandard drugs in Jammu and Kashmir where as much as 17 per cent of the drug samples tested were found to be unacceptable, a media report said Thursday.
“This region also accounted for half the total sample which was tested for quality under this category. In that list, Himachal Pradesh emerged as the next worst performer with seven per cent of drugs failing the quality test,” the Economic Times said, quoting a surveillance report prepared by the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) early this month.
It said samples were drawn from government hospitals, retailers and wholesalers between April and December 2013 by joint teams of central and state drug controller officials.
At all India level, the report said, “about 2.3 per cent of drugs tested by the DCGI since December 2012 were found to be substandard. As many as 1,123 samples were tested of which 26 failed to qualify.”
This latest set of data from the government comes amidst doubts raised by a section of American doctors and academicians over the quality of generic drugs originating from India, the report said.
The government conducted its last large-scale country-wide survey in 2009, when it had collected over 24,000 samples and tested them for genuineness amidst some allegations which termed India as a major source of ‘fake’ drugs.
The study had then found that only 0.046% of the drugs in circulation were actually spurious.
The same report had compiled data from various state drug controllers between 2003 and 2008, which concluded that 6 to 7.5% of the drug samples tested failed quality standard tests annually.
Late last month, a group of US-based academicians and doctors, which included Roger Bate, an economist from a Washington-based think tank American Enterprise Institute, and Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at University of Ottawa, briefed US Congressmen on the perils of ‘sub-standard and falsified medicines with focus on India’s quality control failures’, the report added.