Anti-Counterfeiting Menace and India
It is evident that counterfeiting of products continues to be a bane to the Indian economy as well as the world-wide image of the country. Globalization has brought the positives of increased commerce and opened India up for direct foreign investment, which is excellent for the country's economy. However, India's status as a low-cost manufacturing base also opens it up for use by counterfeiters as a prime location for the production of counterfeit goods both for domestic sale and export.
As per the global counterfeit goods ranking, counterfeited drugs are at the top of the list with a market value of $200 billion. World over India is a leading manufacturer and exporter of high-quality generic and patent drugs. However, the TAXUD statistics released by the European Commission a few years back showed us the dark side by stating that 75 percent of fake drugs supplied world over had some origins in India. The figures are bound to have increased considerably.
The owners being more aware of their rights have now become more prudent and are swift in taking action. Various government agencies in cases of counterfeiting have taken action both on their own accord as well as upon receipt of a complaint, either from the private sector, the right owners or the consumers themselves. The health ministry in India has also undertaken various steps to clamp down on the illegal trade such as launching a reward program, offering $55,000 to those who provide information about fake-drug syndicates amongst others. Important changes have also been proposed to the country's IP laws such as the procedure stipulated by the Drug Controller General of India in January 2011, which required an amendment to Rule 96 (manner of labeling requirement) of Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The proposed amendment made it mandatory for every drug manufactured in India to bear on its primary label Unique Identifier Code and 2D bar code by which anyone can verify the drug through an SMS.
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The Indian Government has become proactive in its fight against counterfeiting especially in case of medicinal drugs. The latest weapon in the battle against the fake drug is Oracle's Blockchain Solution. NITI Aayog, has partnered with the technology giant Oracle and local chain of hospitals, Apollo Hospitals, where Oracle will integrate its blockchain technology and a distributed ledger solution in pharmaceutical supply chain, which will create records that are unchangeable for each pharma transaction.1
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