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Agra: Drug officials seize ‘fake’ medicines worth Rs. 25 lakh

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Agra: As though the problem of fake doctors was not serious enough, we now have to worry about fake drugs.

The Drug Administration (DA) seized a record haul of suspected expired and fake antibiotic and anti-allergic drugs on Friday from a city-based pharmacy.

The raids were led by drug inspectors Raj Kumar Sharma and Anil Anand and were conducted simultaneously at the pharmacy in Balkeshwar, under New Agra Police station, and a house in Vijaynagar Ratanpura under Hariparvat police station, the TOI reported.

Allopathic drugs estimated to be worth 25 lakhs that included antibiotics, anti-allergics, multivitamins, calcium etc suspected to be fake or expired were seized from a pharmacy in Balkeshwar. The samples were collected and sent for tests to a government lab in Lucknow.

The other raid was conducted at a house in Vijaynagar Ratanpura where they found 3100 used vials of the antibiotic Amikacin and anti-allergic Chlorpheniramine. The vials were submerged in a bucket to remove the date of manufacturing, change their expiry dates, repackage with fake medicine and sell the same to unsuspecting members of the public in Agra and neighbouring districts said the TOI report citing the Drug administration official.

Drugs seized just a few months ago shows how serious the fake drugs problem is. In June this year, 10000 fake vials of Amikacin injections were seized in a joint operation by drug safety department and the Agra police. The police had arrested four people including a woman.

Poor surveillance, inadequate quality control and regulations make it easy for poor quality medicines and fake drugs to penetrate the market. Counterfeit medicines can negatively impact the pharma industry and can adversely affect the health of patients.

Antibiotics are used to treat acute infections and diseases. If such infiltration of fake drugs continues then it is just a matter of time before it becomes difficult to find out if the medicine we take is safe. A  WHO study published in 2017 estimated that 1 in 10 medical products circulating in low- and middle-income countries is either substandard or falsified.


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