The Indian government has cracked the whip on more than 70 drug makers for manufacturing spurious or lower quality medicines in India, a top government official told News18.com.
The government’s move has been driven by multiple allegations levelled by importers of Indian medicines, including Uzbekistan, Gambia and the United States. Since October last year, India has been facing allegations of exporting spurious quality drugs, raising concerns of denting the decades-old reputation of “pharmacy to the world”.
While conducting a special drive to investigate the manufacturing of Not Of Standard Quality (NSQ) drugs or spurious quality drugs in India, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) — an arm under the ministry of health and family welfare — raided drug makers in 20 states across India after identifying 203 pharmaceutical companies.
These states include Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh.
“In the first phase, the government has taken action on 76 companies, out of which manufacturing licences of 18 firms have been cancelled and an order to shut the functioning has been given,” an official said.
Product licences have also been cancelled for three companies whereas the other 26 companies have been issued show cause notices. “This was the first phase and the drive will continue with an objective to find out the drug makers who are not following good manufacturing practices.”
This month, the CDSCO issued an alert to states and union territories confirming adulteration found in drug samples from Uttar Pradesh-based Marion Biotech.
The pharmaceutical firm is at the centre of a row over the death of children in Uzbekistan. In December last year, Uzbekistan’s health ministry had shared details of the issue with India’s health ministry.