Spurious drugs on sale in Kangra district

Palampur: Despite tall claims made by state government and state health department, there is no check on the sale of sub standard and spurious drugs in this district, which has posed a serious threat to human health. Though various premises of chemists were raided in past one month but most of the raids probed futile as the persons involved in this trade had prior information of these raids.

A senior officer of the state health department who did not want to disclose his name to media admitted that over one hundred brands of sub standard drugs are selling in the state. Even the sample collected by the state health department from various chemist shops, which were tested in state government lab at Kandaghat also failed. It may be recalled that the office of the Chief Minister on a complaint of local organization had also asked the district health authorities to check the sales of spurious drugs in the district.

According to information collected by this reporter revealed that the business of spurious drugs had been flourishing in the district at behest of medical officers posted in various government hospitals. Today most of the sub-standard drugs are selling on the prescription of medical officers, who had patronized particular companies and chemist shops in the district.

The patients are specifically directed by the doctors to buy medicines from these shops. If the patients buy medicines of standard company from other chemist shops, they are asked by the doctors to return these medicines. These doctors had been receiving handsome amount of commission from these companies every months.

Record of various hospitals in the district revealed that the doctors were repeatedly prescribing particular brand of medicines to their patients for the past two years. Indoor record of the hospitals also established that doctors were writing particular drug to his or her patients for the past one year. All these facts were already in the notice of senior officers including secretary health government of Himachal Pradesh but nothing was done to improve the affairs.

It is on record that the sale of standard drugs has come down in the district. A leading chemist and whole sale dealers of medicines disclosed to this reporter that though the standard company medicines were cheaper in the market but doctors were not prescribing these medicines as they do not get commission or other incentive from standard companies.

He said the margin of profit on sub standard and spurious medicines is ranging between 300 to 500 percent and part of it goes to the doctors. Besides, cash, costly gifts, foreign tours and cars are also given to the doctors by the company if they full-fill the targets.

Most of the companies manufacturing the sub- standard and spurious drugs are located Western UP, Punjab, Delhi and other places. The medicines are supplied and transported through HRTC buses to avoid the sales tax since the buses are not inspected on the tax barrios.

The Writer Mrs. Neelam Sood is president of a voluntary social organization “ SAVE PALAMPUR“.

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