APD | Indian Pharma-Industry losing reputation globally



*Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: [email protected]). *

India is being projected as a competitor to China. As a matter of fact, it is a desire of the US to elevate India to counter China and Contain China. The US is generously extending its diplomatic, and political, support in addition to economic assistance, trade concessions, and providing high-tech and advanced technologies. India has emerged as the second largest beneficiary of US aid and assistance, just after Israel.

Yet, it has not met the desired level. In fact, Indian society is not a fabric of that caliber and lacks the basic elements of learning and growing. The biggest hurdle is its Caste system, and then religious extremism and intolerance are other constraints.

Just a case of the India Pharmaceutical Industry, which is huge in size and volume. It was heavily invested by multinational companies of the Western world. They have not only invested but also transferred advanced technology, and trained human resources to India.

Yet, India could not attain any desired status in the global market. Contrarily, India has created a bad image in Pharma Market globally. A few examples are given below:-

•Very recently, on 5 October 2022, World Health Organization (WHO) issued an alert against four India-made cough syrups that caused the death of 66 children in the Gambia.

•The embarrassment was not yet over when on 7 October 2022, Ariana Hospital reported the arrival of expired medicines from India in Afghanistan, and the video became widely viral on social media bringing another humiliation to the so-called “Shining India”. The link to the video is as under:-


•Thanks to Ariana News for saving many Afghan lives otherwise the fate of users may have been similar to 66 children who died in the Gambia for using substandard cough syrups.

•India is becoming a hub for manufacturing fake and contaminated medicines and exporting expired medicines to the world. THE WORLD MUST REMAIN ON HIGH ALERT while importing medicines from India.

•India has a history of manufacturing substandard medicines. In 2005, a drugs inspector from Kerala filed for prosecution against the company, for which in 2017 a first-class judicial magistrate’s court in the state fined the company. It was one of the 39 companies blacklisted by Vietnam for violation of quality control and drug regulations; the Bihar government had also black-listed it in 2011 for substandard drugs.


•The country’s pharma industry has largely been in denial over quality control concerns expressed by international observers; however, the incidents like Gambia and Afghanistan are raising international alarms.


•Similar reports from Sri Lanka on social media reveal the export of expired medicines, bottles, polythene packages, and injection syringes that have manufacturing stamps from India. There is a host of similar reports available on social media.

•The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca, produced by the Serum Institute of India (SII), was defective and carried side effects initially. It was the time when the world was indeed in dire need of a quality vaccine and WHO was keeping high expectations from India. Foreign funding was generously extended to India for the immediate production of dependable Vaccines. Unfortunately, India could not meet the global expectation during the critical hours of the peak needs.

India has no capacity, nor does its society have the ingredients to compete with China. American dreams may turn into embarrassment and disappointments when the time reaches a conclusion. The US is keeping all its focus on India and is aiming to contain China and counter China. But, India neither has the capacity nor the sincere will to oppose China.

India and China are neighbors, sharing thousands of KMs of the Laine of Actual Control (LaC). Friends, one might have the choice to choose, but, neighbors, have no option of your choice. India must understand, in case of any crisis, the US will never come from far away to rescue India.

India should learn to live with its neighbors and should promote understanding and harmony. Its cooperation with the neighbors will be in the best interest of the whole region for the development and prosperity of the region.