Busting Drug Bootleggers Goes High-Tech in India | The Fix
facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

Busting Drug Bootleggers Goes High-Tech in India

Image: 

Many Indian consumers will be priced out of the new high-tech safety. photo via

By Ariel Nagi

10/13/11

| Share

In poor countries, up to 25% of all drugs are counterfeit, according to the World Health Organization. These often-ineffective, sometimes-toxic medicines make up a nearly $200 million industry worldwide. The black market in fake anti-malarial drugs alone kills 100,000 Africans a year. Counterfeit knockoffs have become a big headache for India, where contentious patent laws have enabled the fast development of the world's largest industry in generic prescription drugs—and where overwhelmed quality-control enforcement has, in turn, enabled the fast development of the world's second-largest black market in fake drugs (China is the world's no. 1 maker of counterfeit goods.) With its generics industry's reputation at stake, the Indian government launched an anti-counterfeit campaign, regularly raiding suspect manufacturers, but the lab tests necessary to confirm even a single fake drug are slow and expensive. Now the Indian Ministry of Health is initiating what it hopes is a far more efficient strategy—targeting the drug packaging—by requiring drugmakers to invest in advanced security technology to improve counterfeit detection, including 2D barcodes, scratch-off labels and printed quick response (QR) codes that allow any consumer with a camera phone and web access to scan the code and link to the manufacturer’s website to authenticate the drug. Starting this month, all pharmaceutical exporters must print barcodes on the outer-most packaging. A secondary-level track-and-trace system, mandatory next year, will offer additional package identification. Of course, the new approach has its drawbacks: not every consumer in India (to say nothing of Africa) has a sleek new iPhone with which to snap and scan.  Paul Lalvani, dean of Empower School of Health, says that Indian drugmakers “impact the lives of over six million people around the world who are on anti-HIV drugs and 200 million people on anti-malarials. So it's important for India to reassure consumers worldwide of the safety and credibility of drugs.” Meantime, Chinese drug-safety officials sit back and watch the U.S. Food and Drug Agency's first-ever overseas branch attempt to penetrate China's vast web of unregulated, corrupt supply chain for drugs.

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
Normies React to the 12 Steps

"I think admitting to having a problem in general is the right first step, but to admit powerlessness is unhealthy. .. I think admitting powerlessness is more harmful because it doesn't help. Admitting that you want and need help is more useful after admittance."

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

Capo By The Sea
 
 
 
 

Capo By The Sea offers an executive rehab program complete with medical detox and a focus on dual-diagnosis issues, as well as an outpatient option in an environment that exudes the kind of beach house optimism one would expect from an Orange County recovery outfit.

Journey Malibu
 
 
 
 

Want many of the luxury amenities A-listers have come to expect—including an enormous backyard with a pool and patio, an herb garden, a volleyball net and a spectacular vista of the Santa Monica mountains—with a recovery program to match?

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv