Stiff penalty for selling fake, expired drugs
Kathmandu, November 10
The Criminal Code Bill recently passed by the Parliament incriminates any act of adulterating medicine and selling a non-medicinal substance calling it to be a medicine.
“If anyone dies due to the effect of adulterated or fake medicine, the act of providing such thing shall be treated as murder and the guilty shall be liable to a jail sentence of 20 years,” reads the bill.
In case the person taking such medicine or substance is maimed, the guilty shall be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail along with a fine not exceeding Rs 100,000. The law also prohibits the sale and distribution of expired medicine. “If anyone sells or distributes expired medicine, the guilty shall be sentenced to one year in jail along with a fine of Rs 10,000,” it says.
Similarly, if the pharmacist provides another medicine in place of the prescribed one calling it to have been made using the same chemical compounds, the guilty shall be liable to a jail sentence of up to two years or a fine of up to Rs 20,000 or both, depending on the gravity of the case.
In yet another stringent provision, the bill prohibits any pathology lab or lab technician from providing anyone with falsified report of blood, urine, stool or saliva. “Any person committing such act shall be sentenced to up to three years in jail, along with a fine not exceeding Rs 30,000. If a person dies or is maimed due to the false report provided by the lab or technician, it shall be considered a criminal offence and dealt with accordingly,” it reads.
The lab or technician shall also provide reasonable compensation to the victim or his/her kin.
Likewise, the bill also stipulates a jail sentence of up to five years along with a fine of Rs 50,000 for anyone found distributing adulterated or expired food.