Himachal High Court issues notice to health secretary over spurious drugs

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court today served notice on secretary health, directing him to respond to alleged poor monitoring infrastructure and inadequate number drug inspectors that was leading to manufacture of spurious and sub-standard drugs.

Treating a letter by one S Kamaljeet Singh, a resident of Sangrur to the court, as a suo moto petition, a division bench headed by Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rajiv Sharma directed the principal secretary health to reply to allegations about state drug authorities being negligent in maintaining a vigil over the pharmaceutical industry based in Sirmaur and Baddi.

Kamaljeet Singh in his letter has pointed out that the indifference by the states drug monitoring authorities was playing havoc with the lives of people on account of poor monitoring of spurious, sub standard, fake and psychotropic medicines being manufactured in the pharmaceutical units mainly at Sirmour and Baddi, which is considered the hub of pharma manufacturing not just in India, but in Asia.

Singh alleges that in the name of ‘Effective monitoring system’, the government with a skeletal staff of just a handful of drug inspectors was insufficient in monitoring working of even half of the pharma units at Baddi, let alone that of the whole state, besides inspecting and checking retail sale counters.

He also mentions that it was embarrassing to note that the drug authorities of other states viz. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Haryana and Rajasthan have raided pharma units at Baddi to check manufacturing of fake and spurious drugs, blacklisted the units engaged in malpractices, but state drugs authorities continue to turn a blind eye towards the problem.

Singh also draws attention to the October 26 raid by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence at a unit in Baddi, manufacturing illegal psychotropic drugs right under the nose of the authorities.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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