Pune: Maharashtra FDA Implements Measures to Combat Import of Fake Drugs from Abroad

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Pimpri, 22nd October 2023: Over the past few months, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the state of Maharashtra has intensified its efforts to tackle the issue of counterfeit drugs. During their inspections of retail and wholesale drug dealers, the FDA has unearthed instances of fake medications flooding the market, posing a threat to public health.


The situation prompted the Chemists Association Pune District to seek intervention from the Chief Minister’s Office, requesting measures to curb the inflow of counterfeit drugs from foreign sources. In response to this plea, the FDA has now issued directives to retail and wholesale traders, making it mandatory for them to provide detailed information on drugs originating from abroad. This crucial step is aimed at mitigating the purchase and distribution of counterfeit medicines.


Instances of counterfeit drugs have been discovered in several districts within Maharashtra, including Thane, Mumbai, and Pune. The Vice President of the Chemists Association Pune District, Vivek Tapkir, had expressed concern for citizens’ health and safety through an email to the Chief Minister’s Office last year. Consequently, the Maharashtra State Government has taken action by instructing the Food and Drug Administration to address this issue.


As a result, the FDA has released a circular mandating that all Divisional Joint Commissioners (Drugs), Assistant Commissioners (Drugs), and Drug Inspectors in the state supply comprehensive data about drug purchases from outside the state to retail and wholesale sellers within Maharashtra. This measure aims to fortify the state’s defences against the infiltration of counterfeit medicines.


The circular issued by the Food and Drug Administration serves as a strict directive to be adhered to by retailers and wholesalers operating within the state. Any non-compliance will be met with appropriate action. Joint Commissioner of Food and Drug Administration, Bhushan Patil, has further instructed the submission of reports on actions taken by each FDA office to the headquarters through the divisional office.


To facilitate the collection of data on medicines imported from abroad, instructions have been issued to create separate email IDs within each district and divisional office. These designated email IDs are to be communicated to all drug dealers operating in their respective areas, with the directive to regularly submit bills for drug purchases made in foreign states. Regular checks on the records of bills received via email will be performed, with actions taken as necessary if any irregularities are detected.


It is important to note that not all drugs imported from abroad are counterfeit; however, the discovery of fake drugs in the state necessitates these precautionary measures. As a result, retail and wholesale drug dealers within the Pune district who procure drugs from outside the state must provide their purchase details to the email address [email protected]. Each district in the state will have a unique email address to facilitate this process.


Shyam Pratapwar, Assistant Commissioner, FDA, highlighted the significance of this initiative, stating, “Some fake drugs were found in the state. When it was investigated, it was found that they were purchased from outside the state. To prevent the sale of fake drugs, the retail and wholesale drug dealers should submit the purchase bills to the FDA office in their district. This scheme is useful for the health of drug dealers and citizens. Also on fake drugs, it will be easy to control.”