19th Mar 2018 10:03:PM Editorials
Eastern Sentinel Arunachal News

Spurious medicine is a flourishing business and Arunachal with its rudimentary health infrastructure is a haven for such unscrupulous dealings. The ambit of fake medicine penetration across the state cannot be correctly gauged given the lack of manpower and testing facilities.

Recently, the Drugs Control Administration, Directorate of Health Services, Naharlagun reported that medicines procured by government agencies and suppliers are of low quality and percentage of the samples declared not of standard quality (NSQ)/spurious/adulterated/misbranded is way higher as compared to medicine samples collected from the market.

The high percentage of NSQ drugs under government procurement shows that the quality of drugs is compromised by the government agencies and safety of patients has been ignored. The supply of fake or sub-standard medicine under monetary incentives by companies cannot be ruled out. It is an open secret that medicines with short shelf life some nearing expiry in just weeks is often supplied to health centers across the state despite opposition from doctors. Medicines with short shelf life and spurious ones are supplied at highly discounted rates and this is one of the biggest reasons for prevalence of poor quality medicines among government agencies.

The Arunachal Registered Pharmacists’ Association (ARPA) has revealed that there are only 197 pharmacists against 825 health centres including 566 sub-centres, which are manned by pharmacists in the absence of doctors. Given the acute shortage it is highly questionable as to who is manning such pharmacies. Also vital Drug Inspectors are almost non-existent in the state; proper and regular checking of such outlets and their contents is an uncomfortable question no one wants to answer. 

Effort to set up the first Pharmaco Vigilance Centre in Arunachal State Hospital must be addressed with urgency by the state government in order to ensure people receive
reliable medicines. Also, setting up of drug testing laboratory (DTL) and drug warehouse at Itanagar needs to be executed on priority.

Equal attention must be given to medicine recycling which is still an unexplored concept here. While medical waste recycling and disposal are mandated by law and hence adhered to in some way by the healthcare system, there are few organized ways to deal with excess medicines.

Kenter Joya Riba

(Managing Editor)
      She is a graduate in Science with post graduation in Sociology from University of Pune. She has been in the media industry for nearly a decade. Before turning to print business, she has been associated with radio and television.
Email: kenterjoyaz@easternsentinel.in / editoreasternsentinel@gmail.com
Phone: 0360-2212313

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