As per reports in media, counterfeit antibiotic drugs with an estimated value of Rs 17.5 lakh, designed to treat severe diseases, were confiscated in a series of raids across several cities in Gujarat. Additionally, authorities apprehended four individuals in connection with this illicit operation, as confirmed by an official statement on Sunday, the report stated.
Reportedly some of these individuals were employed as medical representatives for "benami" companies, which secretly distributed the counterfeit medicines to medical professionals, according to the Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA).
According to reports, the FDCA initiated these operations in various cities, including Nadiad, Surat, Ahmedabad, and Rajkot, successfully seizing the counterfeit drugs. Gujarat Food and Drug Control Administration Commissioner, HG Koshia, disclosed that the counterfeit antibiotic drugs, valued at Rs 17.5 lakh, were confiscated primarily in Ahmedabad, among other cities, the report added.
The investigative efforts were initially prompted by a tip-off, and the Ahmedabad office of the food and drug regulatory authority apprehended Khimaram Kumhar in Ahmedabad, who was found in possession of 99 boxes of POSMOX CV 625 antibiotic tablets, amounting to Rs 2,61,250 in value, on a Friday, as stated in an FDCA release.
Upon questioning, Kumhar revealed that he had received the counterfeit medicines from an individual named Arun Amera, also a resident of Ahmedabad. Amera subsequently led the authorities to another suspect, identified as Vipul Degda, the report further stated.
The release further stated that Degda had in his possession five different counterfeit antibiotic medicines with a combined value of Rs 4,83,300. Degda's cooperation with the authorities revealed that he had been supplying these counterfeit antibiotic medicines to doctors across various cities in the state without generating proper bills, as confirmed by the FDCA, the media report informed.
Consequently, subsequent raids were conducted in Ahmedabad and other cities, leading to the seizure of counterfeit antibiotic drugs valued at Rs 10.50 lakh. The official release underlined that some of the individuals involved in this illicit operation worked as medical representatives for "benami" companies, clandestinely delivering these counterfeit antibiotic medicines to doctors.
Upon further investigation, the FDCA discovered that these drugs were falsely labelled as products of a pharmaceutical company located in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. However, when the FDCA reached out to authorities in Himachal Pradesh, it was revealed that no such manufacturing firm existed, as per the release.
The four individuals implicated in this counterfeit drug operation were detained and subsequently handed over to the Isanpur police in Ahmedabad for further investigation. A case was registered against them under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940.