India’s Focus on Spurious Medical Products

India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) is increasing its supervision on spurious medical products by conducting a nationwide survey to assess the extent of availability of spurious drugs. They have drawn samples from different regions and these samples are currently being analyzed.

Assistance has also been provided under the World Bank assisted Capacity Building Project to upgrade testing facilities and to establish new drug testing laboratories. This way, there will be increased capacity of laboratories to test large number of samples. Under the project, 23 States’ and 6 Central Drug laboratories have been strengthened through renovations, extensions and equipments.

In addition, the Central Government has devised a scheme for giving monetary rewards to whistleblowers reporting spurious medical products. The Reward scheme provides for giving handsome rewards to the informers who provide specific information to the designated authorities leading to the seizures of spurious, adulterated, misbranded and not of standard quality drugs, cosmetics and medical devices. This reward scheme will be applicable to both the informers as well as the officers of the CDSCO.

The identity of the whistle blower / informer will be kept secret and will be known only to the concerned zonal and sub-zonal officers of the CDSCO, the DCG(I) and the Director General Health Services. It will be the responsibility of the concerned officials to keep the details of the whistle blower / informer secret.