Mrunal Manmay Dash

With the fake drug menace on the rise in India and Odisha in particular, the Managing Director of Zuventus Healthcare, Prakash Guha on Saturday shed light on the fake medicine market in the country and how to identify them.

While addressing the 13th edition of OTV’s annual convention ‘Foresight 2023’ in Bhubaneswar on Saturday, Guha said, “Packaging is very important. It holds the image of the brand and the brand value. When fake manufacturers came to sight, their main aim is to duplicate the packaging. A consumer would not know what is inside a capsule or a tablet, but they can very well protect their interests by looking out for a particular mark, a QR code, a hologram or similar things on the package,” Guha advised.

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Speaking about the trust between the drug manufacturer and the end user, Guha said, “We as manufacturers, if we don’t give a quality product to a doctor or a patient, the trust goes down. Even if we do not break that trust, some fake players intrude in between and break that trust between us and the consumers. This is a huge problem for us, so we are trying our level best to take care of that. Even the government is on the same path and is doing their best to keep the fake drug menace in check.”

“I do not know, how long they can escape the law, but I am sure they will be caught sooner than later. Because the goodwill of the pharma companies is at stake, everybody including the doctors is getting vigilant. Even consumers are very much careful while buying medicines. Together, we can resolve this issue,” he said.

Asked about the market size of the fake drugs, Guha said, “Honestly speaking, it is very difficult to gauge the market size of fake medicines, because we have not done any such market research. However, with such a huge pharma industry (Rs 1.7 lakh crore), the size of counterfeit drug market would be between 2-3 percent of it.”

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Guha further clarified various types of fake drugs coming to the market. “Sometimes we see spurious drugs in the market and there is another kind of drug which comes to the market which is misbranded in nature. They are fake drugs too.”

“Misbranded drugs are very common drugs of very known brands, but there would be some minor spelling errors or graphic errors in the packages giving their duplicity away. This is where a robust packaging comes into play,” Guha added.