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Illicit diversion of pharma products challenge for industry: Report

Illicit diversion of pharma products challenge for industry: Report

New Delhi: The diversion of pharmaceutical preparations containing narcotics and precursors like ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to illicit channels in India remains a major challenge for law enforcement agencies, a global body’s report has said.

It cited the efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for spreading the word against drug abuse.

“The diversion of pharmaceutical preparations containing narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances from the Indian pharmaceutical industry, as well as their trafficking, including through illegal Internet pharmacies, continued over the reporting period,” said the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) report for 2015.

INCB is an independent and quasi-judicial monitoring body for the implementation of the United Nations international drug control conventions.

The diversion of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine from legal manufacture in India to illicit channels remains a major challenge for law enforcement agencies, it said.

Indian drug law enforcement agencies continued to report seizures of pharmaceutical preparations containing ephedrine and pseudoephedrine trafficked from India to Myanmar for the extraction of the precursors, said the report released last week.

Precursors are chemicals which can be used to manufacture narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. While ephedrine is used for temporary relief of shortness of breath, chest tightness and asthama, pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal congestion caused by cold and allergies.

“The government of India accorded high priority to the issue of drug abuse. The Prime Minister used many platforms to spread the message to parents that they should spend more time with their children. There was an emphasis on skill development, which was also encouraged among drug users,” it said.

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