Solan : Spurious drug business was proliferating from unlicenced premises in the state’s pharmaceutical hub of Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh (BBN). This became evident after the emergence of three cases, including two having food licenses, in 2022.
All Food Business Operators (FBOs), licenced with the state for manufacturing nutraceuticals and related food products, were directed to seek Central licence by March 31, 2022, by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Lack of regulatory control has emboldened the manufacturers with two such units in the Baddi industrial area being caught manufacturing spurious drugs on the sly in September 2022. They were licensed to manufacture health supplements, nutraceuticals, food for special dietary use, food for special medical purposes, etc.
State Drugs Controller, Navneet Marwaha, when asked, said, “Manufacturing of spurious drugs in two units having a food licence is a matter of key concern The issue has been taken up with the Drugs Controller General of India with a request to take it up further with the FSSAI as such units are now centrally licenced with the state authorities having no jurisdiction over them.”
“The DCA had seized spurious drugs besides machinery from these units and the owners were booked for manufacture of spurious drugs which attracts life imprisonment. Their trial was pending before the court,” added Marwaha.
Six types of spurious drugs were seized in September from the premises of Arya Pharma in Baddi. In another case, 301 tablets of Telma-H tablet, which is a leading blood pressure control drug manufactured by a renowned pharmaceutical unit, were recovered from Aclime Formulations at Thana village in Baddi in September. The third case involves an unlicensed allopathic unit, Trizal Formulation, where drugs and raw material worth several crores was seized by the Drugs Control Administration (DCA) in November 2022. Drugs used for common ailments and having high sales were manufactured to reap maximum monetary benefits.
These cases were detected after the DCA maintained a vigil over their operations after receiving complaints from the manufacturers of leading brands. The FSSAI has no office in the state and such units are under the jurisdiction of the Ghaziabad office of the authority. Though the state FSSAI authorities did apprise their central counterparts about the two cases but little was done to contain the detrimental trend.
Rajesh Gupta, president, Himachal Drugs Manufacturers Association, said the printing association had been directed to exercise caution while printing labels and cartons and issue bills only in the name of registered manufacturing firms.
Gupta further added that food and drugs administration should be combined in Himachal like it was in Gujarat and Maharashtra. This will help curb spurious drug manufacturing. A request has been made before the Central authorities for the same.