Illegal Bangladeshi cancer drugs flood Indian markets
Domestic pharma companies are undergoing a tough time these days since in addition to the entry of imported raw materials (active pharmaceutical ingredients, or APIs) from China, now illegal cancer drugs from Bangladesh and other neighbouring countries are also inundating the Indian markets. Estimates suggest that this grey market could be over INR 300 crore for just oncology drugs, i.e., 12% of those being prescribed these medications could be consuming fake tablets/capsules, according to oncologists. Alarmingly, these drugs have not undergone clinical trials, and do not have the drug controller’s approvals. Further, it is understood that quasi-government bodies —such as the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) and the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) — are unknowingly sourcing these products.