A sincere attempt to improve the quality of medicine for people around the world

Dinesh S Thakur | March 12, 2016


#Dinesh Thankur   #Dr Harsh Vardhan   #Health   #Medicine   #Ranbaxy   #CAG   #CDSCO   #Whistleblowers  


For over two and half years now, I have tried very hard to convince the Indian government to do something about the widespread prevalence of substandard drugs in the country. A recent report puts the number of substandard drugs as 1 in 7; an audit of the Armed Forces Medical Stores Depot by the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) shows that 1 in 4 locally procured drugs are substandard. This means that our Armed Forces personnel and their families are being prescribed significant high percentage of sub-standard drugs.


In September 2014, with great difficulty, I secured an appointment with the then Minister of Health, Dr Harsh Vardhan. A few months earlier, he had criticised the Central Drug Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) as a “snake pit of vested interests” and had also accepted that the corrupt practices had been exposed by several authorities in the past. Dr. Harsh Vardhan went on to say “I have inherited a poisoned chalice. But a revolution is coming.” Given his public statements, I was very hopeful that he would lend me an ear; an opportunity to explain what I foresaw. Unfortunately, in the few minutes he gave me, he was more concerned with his the logistics of his upcoming trip with his assistant while I tried to hold a conversation with him. I was asked to send my thoughts “in writing” to him which I did, but I never heard back from him. Perhaps his subsequent appointment to the Ministry of Science & Technology meant I was no longer his problem. Disappointed, I tried to reach out to the Quality Council of India (QCI), which is a body setup by the Government in 1996 with the objective of creating an ‘ecosystem for quality’ in the country. The new prime minister had made a high profile appointment to head this organization; I was hopeful that if anyone understood the consequence of what the Indian pharmaceutical industry was engaged in, I thought it would be them. After a few phone calls which initially sounded encouraging, the communication ended abruptly. I never heard back from the head of the QCI for reasons better known to them. As a last resort, I even reached out to the CEO of a very large member of the pharma industry after I read of his commitment to “put things right” that appeared in the media. I offered my help in addressing the problems that his company was facing; sadly, other than a response to agree to meet, nothing ever came of it. Clearly no one seemed to be interested in addressing this public health epidemic in India.

(READ full article on Dinesh Thakur's blog)
 


READ: Dinesh Thakur goes to court over medicine quality; drug controller wants whistleblowers to be nationalistic!


 

Comments

 

Other News

“Key milestones achieved in Assam”

In an interview with Governance Now, Anil Kumar Jha, special DGP, CID, Assam, who is also nodal officer for the CCTNS project, speaks of what the system in its present form has helped his state achieve. What is the current status of CCTNS in Assam and its outcome?

Crime tracking project: Bugged from the beginning

A stand-off between the ministry of home affairs (MHA) and software development firm Wipro seems to have long held up the Rs 2,000 crore crime and criminal tracking network and systems (CCTNS) project, conceptualised ten years ago. The project aims to digitise and connect all police stations in the country

Activists question displacement and dispossession of marginalised communities

Questioning the development model pushed ahead for profit oriented growth, social and political activists, academicians, financial analysts and civil society organisations are holding a three day confluence of Peoples’ Convention on Infrastructure Financing in Mumbai.     &nb

The enemy within

About one-fourth of India’s elderly face abuse at the hands of those they trust the most – the son (52%)  followed  by the daughter in law (34%),spouse/partner (14%), daughter(6%)  grandchild (6%), son in law(3%), parent(1%) and care giver(1%), reveals a report by the HelpAge Ind

Who has been investing in India through Mauritius?

The official statistics provided by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce and industry shows that between January 2000 and December 2017, India received $368 billion of foreign direct investment (FDI). It also says that Mauritius was the source of $125 bill

The neighbour and the valley

The declaration communicated through the director general of military operations (DGMO) of Pakistan and India on May 29, 2018, to implement the ceasefire agreement of 2003 between the two countries in “letter and  spirit” has opened up an opportunity to restore peace in the disturbed Kashm

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter