`Most medicines sold in Kerala of substandard quality`

Thiruvanthapuram: An assembly committee that looked into the issue of drug manufacturers and distributors in Kerala allegedly charging exorbitant prices for medicines has found that most medicines are of substandard quality and highly priced.

The committee, which submitted its report in the assembly today, said the total drug market in Kerala was Rs 3500 crore annually, the biggest in the country.

Committee Chairman T N Prathapan told reporters that the Committee had recommended various steps to supply medicines to people at a reasonable price and also to end exploitation by drug dealers.

He said the committee felt drug distribution in the state was being controlled by a `mafia` and wanted government to bring forward a legislation to end the `monopoly` of certain companies in distribution.

He came down heavily on the functioning of the All Kerala Chemical and Drugs Association and said the committee has asked the government to cancel the registration licence of the organisation, if necessary.


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