Companies marketing drugs to be held responsible for quality from March 2021

MK Rajasekharan

This change will confirm stern action against the supply of fake drugs which are illegally marketed in the state.

Kochi: With the proposed amendment in the act related to medicines, the companies which market the drugs will be equally responsible to ensure quality along with the manufactures. The union health ministry has issued a notification regarding this. This change will confirm stern action against the supply of fake drugs which are illegally marketed in the state.

It is reported that the amendment will come into force from March 2021.

As per the present act, only manufactures were held responsible for substandard quality of drugs. In India, even small scale industries in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Puducherry are engaged in drug manufacturing. Drug companies are established here like village industries. Hence, these drug manufacturing firms will not have stability. Address and owners keep changing frequently. So, inspection of the drugs will not be possible in such small industries. As it became a major problem, the ministry decided to amend the act.

While marketing a medicine, the drug manufactures and marketing company will sign an agreement. With the amendment, the suppliers will be equally responsible for the quality and legal responsibility of the drugs which are marketed. Hence, the label of each medicine must carry the details of the marketing firm. If the drug is found spurious or substandard quality, the marketing company will face punishment, including imprisonment up to three years.

“Quality check of medicines was affected as marketing companies and manufactures were completely different. As the marketing companies are also made equally responsible for the quality, this situation will change. It will help the officials to complete the procedures to ensure the quality of drugs, said State Drugs Controller Ravi S Menon.

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