Wednesday, May 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





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Spurious drugs on sale
By Sarbjit Singh
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, May 23 Patients: beware of the tablets you take. These can be spurious or substandard.

This has come to light following raids conducted by the Punjab Health Department in various markets. Even very costly antibiotics in all forms tablets, capsules and injections have been found spurious.

Tablets made from salts like paracetamol, analgin etc and ampicilin have been found either substandard or spurious. When a popular brand pain killer tablet samples were tested, analysts were shocked to find that there was no presence of salts at all in the tablet which were mentioned on the packing. There should have been prescribed mix of analgin, pitofenone hydrochloride and fenpiverinium bromide salts in the tablets of that pain killer.

The State Health Department has sounded a nationwide alert in this connection. Apart from sending intimation regarding the samples of medicines tested and found substandard and spurious to their counterparts in other states in the country, the office of the State Drug Controller has also informed the Drug Controller of India in this connection.

The manufacturers have been told to withdraw their products of particular batches from the market and at certain places medicines have been seized. Confirming this, the officiating Drug Controller Punjab told TNS that the raids had been conducted on the direction of the Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Punjab Health Minister. He said that Dr Chawla, who took over as Minister in December last year had directed the State Health Department authorities to launch a special campaign to weed out spurious and substandard medicines from the market.

Already criminal proceedings against six chemist shops have been started and cases were being processed against eight others.

As many as 884 samples were taken by the authorities concerned and following analysis 59 have been found sub standard and six spurious.

Samples of medicines analysed as spurious were drawn from the chemist shops in Ludhiana. Raids conducted at other places include Patiala , Amritsar, Bathinda.

The Director, Health Services, Dr G.S. Preet, said that the doctors in all districts to keep watch on the elements behind the pedaling of spurious and substandard medicines.

Informed sources said that Delhi had become a big centre of spurious medicines trade.
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