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Partnership For Safe Medicines (PSM) India Launches 24-Hour Helpline

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India, a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from spurious drugs, today announced the availability of a 24-hour helpline (1800-11-4424) to assist, educate and empower consumers across India.

Announcement Follows Rollout of PSM India Earlier this Week; Fills Much-Needed Gap in Protecting, Educating and Empowering Consumers

The Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India, a group of nonprofit organizations and individuals dedicated to protecting consumers from spurious drugs, today announced the availability of a 24-hour helpline (1800-11-4424) to assist, educate and empower consumers across India. The announcement, part of a roundtable discussion comprised of public and private sector leaders, follows the formal launch of PSM India in New Delhi earlier this week.

“For the first time in decades, the various stakeholders in India’s health care delivery system have joined together in a shared and aggressive effort to help protect consumers from the effects of this crisis,” said Bejon Misra, trustee of the Consumer Online Foundation and founder of PSM India.

“People need to know that they have a trusted go-to resource that can help them navigate the increasingly complex and dangerous world of spurious drugs. We must do everything we can to keep consumers healthy while also empowering them through knowledge and information sharing. The helpline we’re announcing today will do just that,” he said.

“By providing an outlet for concerned citizens to learn about the serious risks associated with spurious drugs, PSM India is setting a model for others to follow. In Mumbai today, we joined with public and private sector leaders to discuss straightforward and practical solutions that get to the heart of this public health issue,”said Scott LaGanga, executive director of PSM.

“As I mentioned in New Delhi, spurious drugs are a borderless and dangerous threat that directly impact the health and well being of millions of people across the globe. Therefore, we must provide resources, share ideas, identify innovative approaches and directly empower patients to protect themselves online and off. We’ll never have all the answers, so it’s essential that we engage a variety of stakeholders and give them an opportunity to learn about the issue and provide feedback. The more we listen, the better chance we have of being successful in the long-term,” he continued.

On Tuesday, PSM India unveiled a Web site (www.safemedicinesindia.in) to help consumers, businesses and government officials access knowledge and share ideas and information on ways to strengthen regulatory processes. The Web site is also designed to empower consumers and partners.

The Indian government estimates that substandard drugs account for about 8 percent of the country’s drug supply, with independent estimates ranging from 12 to 25 percent.

“The spurious drug issue warrants a broad and international response with all stakeholders, especially law enforcement, at the table,” said Tom Kubic, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI). “PSM India is exactly the type of effort that is needed to educate consumers and identify meaningful solutions that apply to every nation and region across the globe.”

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