Fake drug? Checking authenticity is just a click away

Come November 26, people in Gujarat would get to check whether the drug purchased from a chemist shop is spurious or not by just logging onto state Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) portal.

Ahmedabad: Come November 26, people in Gujarat would get to check whether the drug purchased from a chemist shop is spurious or not by just logging onto the state Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) portal, a top official has said.
Strengthening its e-governance initiative, the regulator has proposed to upload a new feature on its portal from Monday, enabling the people to verify whether the purchased drug meets the specified standards and is not fake.

"In a first, we shall be launching a facility where people by entering the drug name and batch number can verify whether it meets the specified standards (Pharmacopeia) or not," Gujarat FDCA Commissioner H G Khosia told PTI.

"They would also get to know whether the drug was sub-standard or not and has been recalled in past," he said.

"The dummy run of this new feature has been conducted successfully. We intend to launch this facility on public safety from Monday," Koshia said.

In last few months, Gujarat FDCA has issued several SMS alerts to chemists and stakeholders asking them to stop sale and distribution of drugs found sub-standards during inspection and ensure its recall at the earliest.

"Kufrest Cough syrup, B. NO 1205, manufacturing date 03-12, expiry date 02-14, by Saar Biotech declared substandard, stop use/sale/distribution and recall," reads a SMS alert, issued today by the state drug regulator.

Amongst other products declared sub-standard by state FDCA in recent past are Satnam King absorbent gauze cloth, Love and Magic condoms, Ramihart-H tablets of a particular batch, Accu-drip infusion set of a specified batch, Cefloxin-B by Pee-Medica.

In a bid to make the system `foolproof`, the alert is issued in other states too, informing the stakeholders and regulators about the seizure of sub-standard drug in Gujarat.

"Other states like Maharashtra, replicating the Gujarat SMS model to check sale, distribution and recall of spurious drugs, are also informed simultaneously about such sub-standard drugs," Koshia said, adding drug controllers of other states are being updates about such drugs through SMS for effective enforcement across the country.

According to Koshia, states Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Chattishgarh among others are in the process of replicating the Gujarat SMS model.

The World Health Organisation has evinced interest in Gujarat`s SMS alert system of keeping a check on spurious medicines.

As part of its e-governance initiative, the Gujarat FDCA had developed an SMS alert system through which all stakeholders in the state could be notified of the recalled fake drugs.

This cost-effective model was launched in the state earlier this year to protect the patients from spurious drugs.

The system has issued over 60 alerts so far on sub-standard drugs detected during random sampling done by the FDCA, asking chemists and stakeholders to stop the sale of such spurious medicines.


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