Opinion

''Delhi's Fake Drug Whitewash''

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"The proliferation of fake drugs is one of the greatest dangers facing India today. It threatens lives, discourages patients from using life-saving innovations and deters much-needed pharmaceutical investment. So it's more than a bit worrying to see the Indian government touting a new study that is little more than a whitewash of this crucial problem.

After literally months of leaks about the results, the "Report on Countrywide Survey For Spurious Drugs" was released by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization in July. The report, conducted over a period of seven months last year, found that of 24,136 samples, 11 or 0.045%, were fake.

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In the final analysis, the CDSCO report is a well-conducted analysis of probably dubious data, which makes the results useless. If this were a minor report, that might be a passable error. But given the life-threatening nature of fake drugs, it's not something the government should tolerate. A Pew poll last month found that 54% of Americans distrust drugs made in India. No wonder."

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