Health Ministry preparing a draft to counter USTR report

The Indian Health Ministry is preparing a draft to refute US trade representatives (USTR) report that accuses India as one of the main sources of fake medicines across the globe. Arun Singhal, Additional Secretary Health Ministry has dismissed the report and has termed that the Ministry is in the process of preparing a draft to counter USTR report which mentions that India is a global supplier of fake drugs.

The USTR report claims that India and China are the leading hubs for the supply of counterfeit medicines globally. The report states, “While it may not be possible to determine an exact figure, studies have suggested that up to 20% of the drugs sold in the Indian market are counterfeit and could represent a serious threat to patient health and safety.”

Surprisingly, the report is in complete contrast to the government’s own report of 2016 which states that only 3% of the drugs are not of standard quality and 0.0245% are spurious drugs. According to S Eswara Reddy, Drug Controller General of India, “The claim made by USTR tarnishes the image of India which is one of the leading global producers of low-cost generic medicines and hence it’s important to get documentary evidence from them that they used to support their claim.” Leena Menghaney South Asia head of the Access campaign by Médecins Sans Frontières also supports India’s point and says, “MSF supports the health Ministry’s position that the USTR report is a scathing attack on India’s capability of manufacturing large scale affordable generic drugs.”

Source: Live Mint