5% of drugs on Indian store-shelves are sub-standard or fake

Nearly 1 in 20 drugs sold in India is of subs-standard quality or downright spurious, according to the latest numbers from the health ministry.

According to them, the out of the 49,682 samples of drugs tested during the just concluded financial year (2010-11), 2,372 turned out to be below the required quality. Another 95 samples turned out to be spurious; i.e., they were not the drugs that they were claiming to be.

In all 5% of the total drugs tested by the government turned out to be sub-standard or spurious.

Sub-standard and fake drugs can result in the aggravation of the disease and even cause death in some cases.

The only silver-lining in the cloud is that the proportion is going down steadily, year on year.

For example, in 2009-10, the proportion was 5.25% and in 2008-09, it was 6.1%. The decline is seen in both the sub-standard drugs as well as in the spurious drugs cases.