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After Adulterated Food Stuff, Now Spurious, Sub-Standard Drugs Flood Imphal

IMPHAL, Jan 5: In the absence of any preventive measures from the side of the Government, there is a strong apprehension that molecule deficient and sub-standard drugs have started flooding the pharmacies of Imphal and the entire State.

Since the last few years, large quantities of molecule deficient and sub-standard drugs have been making huge inroads into the markets of Manipur.

Acting on a report that a large quantity of sub-standard pharmaceutical drugs is bound for the State, The Sangai Express conducted a survey in some pharmacies of Imphal.

The survey discovered a very alarming situation where most of the drugs were found to be molecule deficient and sub-standard.

These molecule deficient and sub-standard drugs are known as generic group in the parlance of pharmacists.

However, common people have little knowledge about the drugs included under generic group.

In appearance, these drugs look like genuine products. Though these drugs included under generic group are known to the pharmacists, most of the pharmacies have been selling these generic drugs.

Yet, generic drugs are not available with all the wholesalers located at Imphal. These generic drugs are available in two/three wholesalers including one located at Nagamapal.

As these generic drugs are quite cheap compared to the genuine ones, most pharmacies prefer these drugs as they fetch much larger percentage of profit.

A tablet named NICIP which appears quite similar to Nise tablets manufactures by Dr Raddiz Company is available at pharmacies.

This NICIP tablet is included under generic group and its MRP is fixed at Rs 23 per strip. But these tablets are bought by retailers at just Rs 4 per strip, disclosed some pharmacists.

As most of the people are ignorant about drugs, pharmacists often sell the antibiotic tablet Almox by saying that this tablet is almost equal to Mox tablet in components.

Almox tablet is included under generic group and its MRP is written as Rs 65 per strip. But when retailers purchase this tablet from wholesalers, they get it at just Rs 18 per strip.

At times of delivery, women are usually given Matherjin injections but nowadays a look alike duplicate called Mathijin has flooded the pharmacies.

This is also a generic drug and is available to the retailers at just Rs 11 per piece though the same is being sold to the people at Rs 65 per piece.

It is not only the common people; even doctors are duped by these drugs. Sometimes, some doctors prescribe these generic drugs unknowingly.

Some pharmacists further disclosed that they received complaints about people suffering from allergy after consuming the generic drugs.

Saying that huge quantities of generic drugs are being sent into the State since the last few years, the pharmacists conceded that they have no idea where these drugs are manufactured and how they are being marketed.

In view of the large scale influx generic drugs and their associated health hazards, it is imperative to devise a strict regulation under which only genuine drugs manufactured by recognized companies are permitted to be marketed in the State.

However, even as the State Government has taken up certain measures, very little has been achieved in terms of checking sale of molecule deficient and sub-standard drugs.

Drug Inspector of the Directorate of Health Services, Nongthombam Remodkumar said that a drug can be classified as adulterated, molecule deficient or sub-standard only after testing in a designated laboratory.

Nevertheless, he admitted that there were reports of pharmacies selling sub-standard and molecule deficient drugs.

Samples of some suspected drugs were sent to Regional Drug Testing Centre, Guwahati but the reports were not received in time.

As for Manipur, there is no drug testing centre as yet. At the least, there must be one laboratory for emergency tests and routine tests, the Drug Inspector asserted.

However, there has been no complaint about adverse health impacts due to consumption of adulterated or molecule deficient drugs.

In case there is any such complain, sample of the particular drug may be collected and sent for laboratory tests.

Highlighting on the importance of complaints on the part of the public, Drug Inspector Remodkumar said that people may register their complaints in case of any ill effects through telephone numbers 2414964 or 9436039070.  While making complaints, the complainants should possess sample of the drug and its cash memo, he added.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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