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How do I make sure that I don't buy fake drugs?

Q: I have read in the newspapers that 25 percent of the drugs sold in India are spurious and injurious to health. Please advise me how to do I confirm that the medicines I intend to buy are not fake.

A:It is incorrect to say that 25% of drugs sold in India in the authorised retail chemists are fake. This misleading information is being repeated again and again. Moreover, the legal definition of "spurious" in the Indian Drugs and Cosmetics Act covers not only fake but substandard (where the quantity may be less by more than 5%) and other products that are not fake at all but have violated some other technical rule (such as using an unauthorised brand name etc). Medicines must be bought from licensed chemists and invoice giving the required information (name of the drug, quantity, batch number and date of expiry) must be obtained. There is exceedingly little chance of such drugs being fake.

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