Over 40 years, more than 65,000 people were killed in transnational terrorist incidents but the estimates of deaths caused by fake medicines range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands annually.
"More people have died due to consuming counterfeit medicines than those who have died of terrorism in the last 40 years", said Anil Sinha, CBI director.
The problem of counterfeit medicines (all over the world) was 'alarming' and there was an urgent need to fight the growing menace especially in the developing nations.
An Interpol Report released in July 2014, claimed that two 'types' of Organized Criminal Groups seem to dominate this crime area. It includes "highly organized, yet generally informal, international affiliate networks selling medicines via illicit online pharmacies as well as small groups, not yet well established, of between 3-10 members, involved in various aspects of pharmaceutical crime," said Sinha.
Rs 27.6 crore fake drugs market may not be an alarming situation but it cannot be ignored as it is slowly taking the shape of a transnational organized crime. In the last two decades, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has achieved a positive trade balance in the export market, which initial estimates put at around $9-10 billion.
"Under the aegis of Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, a systematic study was carried out to assess actual extent of spurious drug circulation in India. It was concluded that the extent of spurious drug in retail pharmacy is only 0.046%," said the CBI director.
Counterfeit medicines are difficult to detect. No region or country is immune from this problem. These criminal networks are involved in all types of pharmaceutical crimes, such as falsifying, diverting, stealing or illicitly selling medicines over the internet.