Spurious Drug Factory Busted In Gandhinagar

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat Food and Drug Administration (FDCA) raided a factory operating illegally within the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) estate in Gandhinagar. The unit, owned by Bhavin Patel, was making medicines with a licence. The authorities suspect the factory was supplying “substandard and potentially harmful drugs across the state”, a press release from Gujarat FDCA said.

Gujarat FDCA commissioner H G Koshia said the raid unearthed a web of irregularities. Patel allegedly used fake production licences and did not have a qualified technician on the staff. Investigators suspect tablet fillers such as dibasic calcium phosphate (DCP) or starch were being used with no or improper active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in medication that was sold as azithromycin, paracetamol, methylcobalamin (a vitamin B12 drug), pregabalin (analgesic) and thiocolchicoside (rheumatism drug).

“We found that they had replaced methylcobalamin, pregabalin and thiocolchicoside with DCP, starch or cheaper APIs and sold these spurious medicines. We have taken samples and are filing a case against them,” Koshia said.

Patel allegedly obtained fake production licences and GSTIN/UIN to set up the factory. “He procured the machinery to make tablets and capsules and had even secured a bank loan. Dummy pellets, empty capsule shells, omeprazole capsules, omeprazole pellets and maize starch powder were found at the factory,” Koshia added. The raid led to seizures of machinery, packaging material and counterfeit APIs, worth about Rs 4 crore.

Raw materials and finished products valued at Rs 43 lakh were also seized, the Gujarat FDCA statement said.

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