New Delhi: The United States has warned India of its growing problem of counterfeit or spurious drugs, says a report in The Print.
In its annual “Special 301 Report” on intellectual property protection and review of “notorious markets” for piracy and counterfeiting released on Thursday, the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) blamed India for this growing problem.
The report said almost 20 per cent of pharmaceutical goods sold in the Indian market are counterfeit. “In particular, China and India are reportedly leading sources of counterfeit medicines distributed globally. While it may not be possible to determine an exact figure, studies have suggested that up to 20 percent of drugs sold in the Indian market are counterfeit and could represent a serious threat to patient health and safety,” the report said.
The report blamed India for jeopardising the health and safety of its population and also ranked the country among top producers for exporting counterfeit medicines to Africa, Canada, the Caribbean, the EU, South America and the United States.
A senior Health and Family Welfare Ministry official, however, rejected the findings. “The figures are exaggerated. While there is a problem of counterfeit medicines in India, it amounts to less than 10 per cent of the total medicines sold in India,” he said.
The report also said that India continues to remain on the US’ “Priority Watch List” for alleged violations of intellectual property rights. The USTR has identified 11 countries, including India, China, Russia and Venezuela, on its “Priority Watch List” and 25 countries, including Pakistan, on the “Watch List”.