Duplicate medicines – A threat to consumers

All of us might have taken medicine for some diseases and whether we have taken the original one or not? we may not know. It can also be a duplicated one which may be harmful your health. As the population is huge, there is a vast consumer market for medicine in India and a parallel market for adulterated medicines to earn millions of money. A recent investigation by the reporters of a leading newspaper revealed the dangerous attempts of unauthorized manufacturers. There are a number of factories that are engaged in the repacking of expired medicines. Most of them were in Tamilnadu and Himachal Pradesh. The expired medicines are coming back to the consumers in new pack by changing the expiry date. One should purchase the medicine only from reputed registered medical shops to avoid the consumption of duplicate medicines. Also one should insist for the same brand which the doctor has prescribed. In the adulterated medicine, sometimes the chemical or drug content will be less but it costs equivalent to the original one. Most of the medicines are the repacks of expired one with new utility period.

Most of the unauthorized manufacturers are having a very close tie up with government officials and doctors and this helps in spreading their products in the market. All those officials and doctors enjoy many benefits by pushing duplicate ones to the consumers. Mass quantity of duplicated medicines are supplied to the poor patients at government hospital at free of cost while the manufacturers are paid for the duplicated medicine from the government fund. Most of the commonly used medicines like paracetamol are manufactured in different brand names and to have an extra profit, some of the brands are prepared with less chemical content than required. Even though this practice is not that harmful, it will not cure the illness upon consumption.

Normally all the manufacturers take back their expired medines from the shop and nobody knows what is happening to it. Since the retailers are paid back this money, there is a little chance for their involvement in the issue. But one question which remains is that what manufacturer do with expired medicine. There is a possibility that manufacturer themselves are involved in the adulteration directly or indirectly. All the expired medicines are repacked in different brand names and the best practice to avoid the consumption of adulterated medicine is to choose only highly reputed manufacturer’s products. As adulterated or duplicated medicines are harmful to the health of the consumers, it is the prime responsibility of the manufactures to ensure their products are not duplicated. Most of the companies are spending millions on R&D of new medicines and some amount should be kept to fight against such malpractices.

I have a personal experience and wish to share the same with you. For fever, I have taken medicine from a medical shop and after a day rashes were found on my skin. I have done a thorough medical checkup and all the results were negative. The doctor finally concluded that it can be due to allergy. Since I am not allergic to anything, I doubt that the problem is with the medicine. I have registered a complaint against this in the manufactures web site and unfortunately, till today I have not received any reply. This kind of irresponsibility promotes the adulterated medicine in the market. There are many consumer complaints in the society regarding this issue. My suggestion is that the consumers should take medicines only in unavoidable situations and try to use herbal products as much as possible.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 20th, 2010 at 6:22 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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