COUNTERFEIT (FAKE) DRUGS & NEW TECHNOLOGIES TO IDENTIFY IT IN INDIAAbstract
A counterfeit medicine is one which is deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity or source. Counterfeiting apply to both branded and generic product which include products with the wrong ingredients, without active ingredients, with insufficient active ingredients. According to WHO, 25% of medicines consumed in poor countries could be counterfeit or below standard.An estimate suggests that these drugs are a $200 billion industry worldwide. India could be an easy target for counterfeits, as the manufacturing costs is 40% cheaper here as compared to other countries. Deputy drug controller general of India says, counterfeit medicines often resemble the originals in chemical composition, but he thinks the biggest problem is in the packaging. A committee set up by the Indian Ministry of Health has approved a proposal to put 2D bar codes and scratch-off labels on medicines. The user scratches off the cover and tests what is underneath to a free phone number, to find out if a pill is real. Quick Response (QR) codes are also being tested. These printed squares are an advanced version of the 2D bar codes. Anyone with a camera-enabled phone and web access can scan the code and be taken instantly to the pharmacy company website to authenticate the drug. The uses of holograms, tracers, traggants and inks, plastic tags, radio frequency identification, mass encryption technology are some other techniques to limit the counterfeiting of drugs.
P. Gupta*, K. Singhal and A. Pandey
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FAMS), Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar-249404, Uttarakhand, India
18 July, 2012
09 October, 2012
27 October, 2012
01 November, 2012