Combiflam and D Cold Total, pills commonly found in first aid boxes of Indian households, are among medicines described as “substandard” by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, the national drugs regulator.
In a report, the organisation listed as substandard popular over-the-counter medicines such as D Cold Total, Combiflam, Cetrizine, Paracetamol, Pantoprazole, Ofloxaci and Lomotin. Combiflam, a painkiller manufactured by the Indian unit of French drugmaker Sanofi, had failed in similar tests last year as well. Several batches of Combiflam were withdrawn from the market after the regulator found the lots were substandard.
For many Indian families, these pills are the go-to remedy for a number of health problems like cough, cold, allergies and pain. But the CDSCO, which regulates the quality, sale and distribution of drugs in India, has raised questions on their quality.
The list features 60 common drugs which are all labelled “Not of Standard Quality”; the reason given in most cases is “Description and Particulate Matter” or “Disintegration” – which refers to time taken for the medicines to disintegrate or break down in the human body – an important parameter for routine assessment of pharmaceutical drugs.
This year’s list includes painkillers, medicines for anti-allergy, fever, cold, loose motion, constipation, as well as calcium and iron supplements, among others. Some of these medicines are manufactured by big brands such as Cipla, Cadila, Sanofi.
Here is the full list of drugs that failed in the CDSCO’s drug report: