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DCA busts spurious anti-cancer drug racket, ₹4.35 crore stock seized 

In one of the largest-ever seizure in the State, the Drugs Control Administration (DCA) after multiple raids in the city, seized spurious anti-cancer drugs from an unlicensed premises at Macha Bollaram on Monday.

The total seizure, of 39 variants of anti-cancer and other related drugs, was stated to be worth about ₹4. 35 crore.

The DCA in a disclosure on Tuesday said these drugs were being sold under nine company labels in three States: In Telangana, Astra Generics Private Limited, Astrica Healthcare Private Limited, and Bless Pharma India Private Limited. In Himachal Pradesh, Medion Biotech Private Limited, Alliance Biotech, Sunvet Healthcare, Salus Pharmaceuticals, DM Pharma Private Limited, and in Andhra Pradesh by Safe Parenterals Private Limited.

According to DCA: “Certain seized drugs were found to be of spurious in nature, as the labels bear details of a non-existent company ‘Astra Generics Pvt. Ltd.’ whose licences have already been cancelled in July 2021. But the manufacturing date mentioned on the seized drugs is March 2023 with the name of company with cancelled licence.”

The operation began based on information of the DCAs vigilance cell. A team headed by assistant director P. Ramu dug deep into the information on manufacturing of the said drugs.

It had also approached the India Post at Alwal for tracing suspicious addresses based on invoices gathered. But the addresses mentioned were also found to be fake ones.

The DCA then took a different route. It raided courier offices being used by ‘Astrica Healthcare’ for shipping its drug consignments. Raids were conducted at various courier offices at IDA Cherlapally, Nacharam and Medchal and on the premises of ‘Astrica Healthcare’ in Keesara.

The team hit paydirt after it identified a courier boy who had been delivering the drug stock of the company. The drugs were suspected to have been stocked in a three-shutter warehouse at Macha Bollaram, an unlicensed premises. The team then kept a close vigil on the operations at the warehouse since December 2, and two days later on Monday, when suspicious activity was observed, the officials swarmed on the premises and made the seizure.

The DCA said the prime accused in the case is K. Sateesh Reddy, director of Astrica Healthcare. He was reported to be absconding, and an operation was launched to trace him.

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