In three years, 74 drugs found substandard in Himachal Pradesh : The Tribune India

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In three years, 74 drugs found substandard in Himachal Pradesh

In three years, 74 drugs found substandard in Himachal Pradesh

Photo for representational purpose only. - File photo



Tribune News Service

Ambika Sharma

Solan, March 20

Barely 74 drug samples have been declared substandard or spurious in the state in the past three years (2020 to 2022). Legal action has been initiated in 17 of these cases while in others, administrative action was taken by drug officials.

As per the figures provided by the drug authorities in the Vidhan Sabha to a question raised by Bipin Parmar, former Health Minister, as many as 22 drug samples were declared substandard in 2020-21, 20 in 2021-22 and 32 in 2022-23. Parmar had sought figures pertaining to the tenure of his own BJP government.

Interestingly, as per the national level alert issued every month by the central drugs regulator, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), as many as 158 drug samples were declared substandard in 2022 alone. This number also includes some of the drugs listed by the state drugs authorities in its reply submitted in the Vidhan Sabha.

The state has 660 pharmaceutical units housed in various industrial clusters like Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh, Kala Amb, Paonta Sahib, Parwanoo etc.

Out of the 74 drug samples declared substandard, as many as nine cases pertain to spurious drugs manufactured by unlicensed pharmaceutical units like Trizal Formulations, Baddi, and Arya Pharma, Baddi. Both the firm owners are facing legal action.

Eight other firms are also facing legal action for manufacturing substandard drugs. These include Kala Amb-based Digital Vision, whose Kycold Plus Suspension was found not conforming to the claim of assay content of Phenylephirine HCl.

The same firm is also under the scanner in Jammu and Kashmir after its Cold Best PC-Syrup had led to the death of 12 infants in February 2020.

Since the state lacks well-equipped drug testing labs, it is dependent on the Chandigarh-based Regional Drugs Testing Laboratory as well as its ill-equipped Kandaghat-based Composite Testing Laboratory to test drug samples.

As against 158 drug samples declared substandard by the CDSCO in 2022, the state authorities could barely detect 32 such drugs though it houses Asia’s pharmaceutical hub.

While a national-level alert is issued every month to alert consumers about the batch numbers declared substandard or spurious, no such alert is issued in the state to alert the public.

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