Solan, November 29
The failure on the part of the authorities concerned to arrest traders who had supplied raw materials to the firms engaged in manufacturing spurious drugs appears to have encouraged the illicit trade in the pharmaceutical hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh in Himachal’s Solan district.
At least three such cases have come to the fore since September where spurious drugs manufactured by unlicensed firms have been seized by the Drug Control Administration (DCA) at Baddi. The seizure of a huge cache of counterfeit drugs in all the three cases has put a question mark over the quality of drugs available in the market. Popular brands of several leading drug firms have been seized.
Two cases were unearthed in September where firms having a licence issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had been found manufacturing spurious allopathic drugs.
Despite a lapse of three months, the DCA is yet to zero in on the traders who had supplied the raw material. The third case was detected last week where an unlicensed manufacturing unit was found producing spurious drugs from an industrial plot. Though DCA officials have been raiding various locations in Uttar Pradesh and Baddi, no trader had been arrested yet, said sources.
The traders engaged in the sale of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients, which are raw materials used in making drugs, are duly licensed by the DCA under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940. They are provided a wholesale trade licence and in case they are found supplying APIs or excipients to unlicensed traders, the licence is bound to be cancelled. All cases were being probed by the DCA, though police help was sought to conduct raids, said an official.
The lack of coordination among various departments, including industry, state taxes and excise and power, had further encouraged the illicit trade, said sources.
The state taxes and excise department had done little following the unearthing of last year’s Rs 100 crore illicit narcotic trade by the DCA and the state Criminal Investigation Department even as it involved tax evasion worth crores.
Navneet Marwaha, State Drugs Controller, said investigations were underway to identify the traders involved in the supply of raw material and due action, including suspension of licence, would be taken.
Top brands on list
- Popular brands of several leading drug firms have been seized
- Seizure puts a question mark over the quality of drugs available in market
- Three such cases have been unearthed in the past three months
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