Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela
Sri Wajahat Habibullah, is sitting second to his left.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, while addressing the National Consultation on Developing the Methodology for a Proposed Study on Spurious Medicines said that there could be difference of opinion regarding the quantum of spurious drugs which are being circulated in the market. It is not important whether it is 1% or 20%, he said. Since the health and life of the people are involved, this menace should be totally eliminated, he added. In this connection he exhorted all the countrymen, whether they are ordinary citizens or hospitals or physicians or pharmacists or the civil society activists or the government to join together and work for the elimination of this menace. Later, answering queries from the audience he agreed to the need for strengthening the consumer courts, functioning under the Consumer Protection Act, for providing relief to the affected individuals in a speedy manner.
Dr. D.Roy, Deputy Drug Controller General of India, who was associated with the Survey on the Spurious Drugs prevalent in the country, dwelt on the highlights of the Report and the improvements which can be made in future surveys. As per the CDSCO (Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation) report, the spurious drugs were detected to be only 0.046%.
Sri B.Vaidyanathan, Chief Mentor, Consumer Protection Council, Rourkela, participating in the Panel Discussion on The Proposed Methodology for the Study, pointed out the shortcomings in the earlier Survey done by the CDSO. He made a brief presentation on the changes needed in the methodology so that the Survey may reflect the realities. He said that since due to lack of enforcement and literacy levels the remote and rural areas were most affected, their representation in the sampling ought to be proportional to their population. Similarly each State was distinct because of local culture; literacy and law enforcement and the sampling ought to reflect this reality. Since the semi-literates and the poor are likely to be targeted and suffer the most, the agencies undertaking such surveys should utilize the local population, especially from the lower or middle income groups. Similarly, it is accepted that by insisting on cash memo the individual is likely to get a genuine drug, during the Survey, the surrogate patients should not demand cash memos.
Sri Bejon Misra, Founder of Partnership for Safe Medicines India (PSM), welcomed the gathering and warned the serious consequences if we fail to eliminate the spurious drugs menace.
Dr. Prof. H.S.Rissam, Member, Board of Governors, Medical Council of India and Sri Wajahat Habibullah, former Chief Information Commissioner to the government of India, and Chairperson, PSM, spoke about providing a credible direction to tackle the menace of Spurious and sub-Standard medicines in India.
Several eminent personalities including Sri Praful D.Seth, Vice President, International Pharmaceutical Federation, Sri Neeraj Sinha, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the government of India, Dr. G.N.Singh, Secretary-cum-Scientific Director, Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission, participated in the National Consultations on Developing the Methodology for a proposed Study on Spurious Medicines, held on 3rd October, organized by the Partnership for Safe Medicines India, at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.