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CORRESPONDENCE
Year : 2007  |  Volume : 39  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 255
 

Counterfeit and substandard drugs: The need for an effective and stringent regulatory control in India and other developing countries


Pharmacology Department, M P Shah Medical College, Jamnagar, India

Correspondence Address:
A Sukhlecha
Pharmacology Department, M P Shah Medical College, Jamnagar
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.37280

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How to cite this article:
Sukhlecha A. Counterfeit and substandard drugs: The need for an effective and stringent regulatory control in India and other developing countries. Indian J Pharmacol 2007;39:255

How to cite this URL:
Sukhlecha A. Counterfeit and substandard drugs: The need for an effective and stringent regulatory control in India and other developing countries. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2007 [cited 2021 Jul 31];39:255. Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2007/39/5/255/37280


I have read with interest 'Counterfeit and substandard quality of drugs: The need for an effective and stringent regulatory control in India and other developing countries'. [1] There are several technologies that may prove helpful in combating this problem. One such technique is radio-frequency identification (RFID) that uses electronic devices to track and identify items, such as pharmaceutical products, by assigning individual serial numbers to the containers holding each product. The FDA is working towards developing an electronic pedigree (E-Pedigree) system to track drugs from factory to pharmacy. This technology may prevent the diversion of drugs or counterfeiting by allowing wholesalers and pharmacists to determine the identity and dosage of individual products. [2]

Another such product, the ICODE UID-OTP, features an NXP-programmed Unique Identifier (UID), guaranteeing the RFID tag. It is unique and has a one-time programmable memory that locks the user data after being programmed. The product also supports a destroy command, allowing the RFID tag to be permanently disabled when the customer picks up his or her prescription from the pharmacy, ensuring privacy. [3] A new technique, Raman spectroscopy, can be used to discover counterfeit drugs while they are still inside their packaging. [4] Scientists at the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have adapted a low-tech device to test and detect counterfeit drugs. They reported their results (on a method to test antimalarial drugs) at the 50 th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta. The device, called a handheld Refractometer, has been used to measure the specific gravity of urine specimens. By measuring specific gravity of certain dissolved drugs , it was possible to determine the amount of the active ingredient in a tablet. The device could be used as a first line of defense against counterfeits. [5]

In light of the increasing severity of the problem of counterfeit drugs, the World Health Organization has established a Rapid Alert System (RAS), the world's first web-based system for tracking the activities of drug cheats. The Organization of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI) has recommended that the passage of the bill number LIV of May 2005 (to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 2005), that seeks to enhance the punishment for counterfeiting of drugs and to make it a nonbailable offence, should be accelerated. [6]


  Acknowledgement Top


I wish to thank the members of [email protected] for their valuable inputs on this topic, which helped me in preparing this article.

 
  References Top

1.Khan AY, Ghilzai NM. Counterfeit and substandard quality of drugs: The need for an effective and stringent regulatory control in India and other developing countries. Indian J Pharmacol 2007;39:206-7.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfeit_drug. [Last accessed on 2007 Oct 23].  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.NXP-based RFID solution monitors counterfeit drugs: EE Times India Global Sources. 2007. Apr 05.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.A new laser weapon against counterfeit drugs. [Last updated on 2007 Jan 29]. Available from http://www.scitech.ac.uk/PMC/PRel/Arch/CCLRC/2007/20070129.aspx. [Last accessed on 2007 Oct 23].  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Detecting counterfeit drugs. The Hindu Sci Tech 2001 Dec 06.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Bisserbe N. Tracking device to fight fake drugs: The Economic Times. 2007 Jun 28.  Back to cited text no. 6    



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