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Indian Policy for Counterfeit and fake drugs

  • March 29, 2023
  • 2 mins read

It is known today that the pharmaceutical market is blooming at an elevating rate. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is expected to grow at a compound annual rate (CAGR) of 12% and reach $130 billion by 2030. This growth has attracted some peddlers or organizations to imitate some of the drugs available in the market to sell illegally. A recent incident in Ghaziabad during a raid when a huge quantity of cancer drugs was seized by the Delhi Police crime branch on a godown in Loni’s Tronica City in November last year. It has been declared substandard by the government laboratory in Lucknow. Two of the four samples sent for tests also failed to comply with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, Ghaziabad drugs inspector said. 

What are counterfeit drugs?

The term has promptly been used in various WHO guidelines on good distribution practices for pharmaceutical products. Counterfeit medicine is a fake medication that might have harmful effects. These are products that are fraudulently produced and fake. They usually do not contain any active pharmaceutical ingredient or masked or tempered drugs of cheap quality. They are packaged in such a way they look like exact products, so they are not laboratory tested; hence, taking these products can cause harmful ill effects and even death. In 2017, the Telangana Drug Control Administration (DCA) shut down an online pharmacy based in Hyderabad, which canceled its license for violating drug sale rules. The authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) found that India has witnessed an elevation of 47% in counterfeit medicines sold in the country.


  • India plans to impose the death penalty for selling or manufacturing counterfeit drugs. This must be done to prevent illegal activity regarding Sale and enhance public health. 
  • The Trademark Act 1999 gives criminal and civil remedies against the violation. Only after checking the pharmacy license is it advised to buy the drugs from online platforms or a pharmacy.
  • The Indian Penal code of 1860, the Sale of counterfeit drugs in India can lead to imprisonment for years and a penalty of thousands of rupees. 
  • Drug and cosmetic act, 1940, according to this Act, there is a ban on the manufacture and export of spurious drugs.
  • The Bureau of Indian Standards Act 2016 contains penalties for using the Standard (ISI) mark without obtaining the requisite license. So, customers should seek ISI-marked medicine to prevent buying fake medicine, and public health is conserved.