The proliferation of counterfeit drugs on the global market and easy availability via online pharmacies is an increasing problem. The makers of counterfeit drugs have enjoyed and profited from loopholes in a system designed to deliver healthy medicines to those in need. The rising cost of prescription medications and the ubiquitous presence of online and overseas pharmacies means more people than ever are threatened by these counterfeiting operations.

Expected to start soon, the Rs 50-lakh study, to be spearheaded by drug controller general of India, Surinder Singh, and expected to take six months, will see drug inspectors pose as patients and pick up 31,000 drug samples.

The study has identified 61 popular drug brands from nine therapeutic categories that will be tested. They include anti-tuberculosis medication, anti-allergics, drugs to counter diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, anti-infective steroids, anti-malarials, NSAIDs, anti-histaminic and multi-vitamin preparations.

15 May 2008

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