Millennium Post

Ailing medicines

The debate has unfolded yet again and many of the over the counter (OTC) drugs that one may be buying are indeed not as flawless and effective as pharmaceutical companies claim them to be. The drugs that have failed the quality test, conducted by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSO) are Salbutamol Sulphate tablets (Asthalin), Escitalopram Oxalate tablets, Omeprazole capsules, Pantest tablets, Paracetamol (syrup, tablet and injection), painkiller Ibuprofen-400, pneumonia-tonsil medicine anti-biotic- Amoxicillin and Ofloxacin medicines.

It is more than startling that most of these drugs are also regularly prescribed by certified medical practitioners to cure patients of asthma, chronic bronchitis, anxiety disorder, gastric ulcer and the usual fever, problems related with the digestive system and also muscular pain. While the first four are indeed serious medical complications, the other ones are usually not given as much importance by the Indian people. Most of us are indeed in the dubious habit of self prescribing medication and not consulting a doctor when required.

The government needs to without a doubt formulate a policy which puts the accountability on pharma companies which are involved in producing such counterfeit drugs in huge numbers. Because they are sold openly sold, it gives further impetus to these companies to openly flout quality control mechanisms. The spurious nature of these drugs is not only detrimental for human consumption but poses a great risk at the damage that it may inflict on the biological systems per se. The problem is also compounded by the fact that the consumption of a lot of sub standard drugs makes the human biological system unresponsive to medication which in turn means that whatever medication the doctor may be prescribing will fail to have any effect on the affected individual. With companies as big as Cipla and Lupin involved in the nexus, aspersions need to be cast on the entire licencing system which is required to produce drugs.

The appalling level of the situation can be gauged from the fact that in many cases the big pharma companies employ the smaller ones to complete targets and meet demand. The quality control which is anyway non-existent becomes more and more obliterate that way. The Central government must intervene now to stop this trend from assuming demonic retributions.     
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