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

Oil minister meets Odisha CM over IOCL impasse

 In order to resolve a tax-dispute between Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and government of Odisha, a meeting was held between minister of state (I/C) for petroleum & natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik in New Delhi. During the meeting, Pradhan

Product differentiation is key to beat competition: SAIL chief

 Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL) chairman, PK Singh, during his recent visit to SAIL’s Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), laid emphasis on product differentiation and said the enterprise has to match the best in quality, variety and standards. “In the present circumstances, only th

BHEL secures orders from Chile and Estonia

 Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has added another feather to its cap by securing export orders from Chile and Estonia. This has helped BHEL to expand and consolidate its footprint in the international market. With maiden orders for transformer bushing from Niquel Electric Ltd, Chile

The different electoral systems across the world

India uses a mix of two systems in elections. The first-past-the-post system is used in the elections to the Lok Sabha as well as the state assemblies, while proportional representation is used during Rajya Sabha and presidential polls.   Now, an all-party Parliamentary panel

Big pharma, IP wars and profit over people

Martin Shkreli, a former hedge fund manager who is infamous for overnight spiking up the price of a lifesaving drug by 5,000 percent, was convicted on three counts of fraud in an American federal court on August 4. Shkreli is now staring at an incarceration period of up to 25 years. The order cheered up

CAG spots irregularities in ‘Zero Tax Companies’

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has noticed irregularities in the way the income tax department (ITD) carried out the assessment of Zero Tax Companies.   Several companies that were having large profit from business and distributing substantial portion of the income



Video

Merger completed for AIADMK, EPS-OPS shakes hand

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter