Adulteration of drugs

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Adulteration is as practice of substituting original crude drug partially or wholly with other similar looking substances, but the latter is either free from or inferior in chemical or therapeutic properties. Adulteration of drugs involves different conditions such as deterioration, admixture, sophistication, substitution, inferiority, and spoilage.
Adulteration of drugs
AuthorNayna Maheshwari
Published on04/10/2018
Last Updates04/10/2018
According to the section 274 of Indian Penal Code whoever adulterates any drug or medical preparation in such a manner as to lessen the efficacy or change the operation of such drug or medical preparation, or to make it noxious, intending that it shall be sold or used for, or knowing it to be likely that it will be sold or used for, any medicinal purpose, as if it had not undergone such adulteration, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.The punishment of such an offence includes imprisonment for 6 months, or fine of 1,000 rupees, or both non cognizable and non bailable triable by any Magistrate.Anyone who adulterates any drug or medical preparation in such a manner as to lessen its efficacy or change the operation, or makes it noxious, knowing that it shall be sold or used for any medicinal purpose, as if it had not gone undergone any adulteration, is said to cause adulteration. It is sufficient if the efficacy of a drug is lessened, it need not necessarily become noxious to life.Any person knowing that the drug or the medical preparation has been adulterated, sells the same or offers it for sale, or issues it from any dispensary, or causes it to be used for medicinal purposes by any person not knowing the adulteration, is said to sell, or offer, or issue from any dispensary an adulterated drug as unadulterated.It may be observed that making as well as selling adulterated drugs are two separated crimes. Even if you have not manufactured the drugs but are only selling them you are liable to be punished for the same.As per the section 9A of Drugs and

Cosmetics Act, 1940, Adulterated Drugs are explained as:

(a) if it consists, in whole or in part, of any filthy, putrid or decomposed substance; or

(b) if it has been prepared, packed or stored under insanitary conditions whereby it may have been contaminated with fifth or whereby it may have been rendered injurious to health; or

(c) if its container is composed in whole or in part, of any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render the contents injurious to health; or

(d) if it bears or contains, for purposes of colouring only, a colour other than one which is prescribed; or

(e) if it contains any harmful or toxic substance which may render it injurious to health; or

(f) if any substance has been mixed therewith so as to reduce its quality or strength.

The use of chemicals in drugs like heroin and cocaine often begins during the refining process and varies based on the producer. Traffickers are always changing their methods, which leads to use of untested and dangerous chemicals, preying on countries where government controls are limited, disposing of used illegal chemicals and their byproducts unsafely to avoid detection and theft of illegal chemicals. Though worldwide efforts to thwart drug production and distribution have been effective, there is still an overwhelming amount of illegal substances making their way onto the streets.Sadly, awareness usually follows an increase in overdoses. Although this may stop those who are not addicted from experimenting with that particular substance for a time, it often has the effect of causing those who are addicted to the drug to seek it out because they believe the drug to be more potent—not laced with other substances. Education is the key to preventing unnecessary deaths.The types of adulterants in drugs are not often measured and reported. Though the public generally recognizes that illicit substances are harmful, the focus of drug-prevention efforts is rarely on the harmful substances added to produce or cut the drugs, which often are the cause of medical emergency that results in overdose or death for many users.According to a report published in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, adulterants are added for a number of reasons such as to increase bulk so the dealer has more weight to divide up and sell, thus increasing profits, to mimic the effect of certain substances, to enhance or increase the duration of certain effects of the drug, to facilitate drug delivery, to produce plant-based drugs of abuse (e.g., cocaine, heroin) or synthesize chemical compounds (e.g., crystal meth, spice). In some cases, adulterants are not deliberately added to an illicit substance; they are the result of improper manufacture or storage, such as relatively innocuous substances (at low doses), such as sugars, procaine, caffeine and paracetamol, toxic chemicals, other drugs of abuse, such as fentanyl added to heroin or cocaine added to Ecstasy and bacterial contaminants.


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