Sale of substandard drugs continues unabated in Kashmir: DAK

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Srinagar, Jul 17: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Tuesday said sale of substandard drugs continues unabated in Kashmir valley putting lives of patients at risk.
“Kashmir has turned into a safe bastion for trade in substandard drugs and whole market is under the dragnet of these poor-quality drugs,” said DAK President Dr Nisar ul Hassan in a communiqué.
According to analytic reports accessed by DAK, he said many drugs have been declared substandard.
DAK President said in February this year, L-Nova-500 tablet, a life-saving antibiotic manufactured in India by PDC Healthcare was found substandard. The drug contained 180.92 mg of levofloxacin which is just 36% of the labeled content. Also, the drug failed in dissolution test and assay.
“Cuffad, a cough syrup manufactured by Affy Pharma Pvt Ltd was found substandard in April this year. The contents of paracetamol were less than the labeled content,” he said.
Dr Nisar said last year, 59 drugs were found substandard. From painkillers to anti acidity drugs and cough formulas to antibiotics, drugs in all therapeutic categories have been found substandard.
“This is the tip of the iceberg as most of the drugs remain unchecked. Less than 1% of the drugs get checked and more than 99% of drugs are without quality assurance,” he said
Dr Nisar said there is a deep rooted nexus between drug mafia and shoddy pharma companies that pump massive quantities of substandard drugs in the valley.
“For writing these drugs pharma companies give doctors everything from household items, luxury cars to foreign trips,” he added.
Dr Nisar said DAK unearthed a big spurious drug scandal in 2013 and since then hundreds of drugs have been declared spurious/substandard.
“Substandard drugs are pharmaceutical products that do not meet their quality standards and specifications. These drugs do not work and lead to disease progression, drug resistance and death,” he said.