ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Evidences of Fakes in the Distribution Chain: Policing Pharmaceuticals in the North Indian Markets


Thakur Nishpriha - King's College London, Global Health and Social Medicine, London, United Kingdom


25 – Thinking with markets: Practices and codes of engagement in South Asian economic milieus


 In order to safeguard the pharmaceuticals and also make sure that in the globalized networks of trade, fakes have to be taken out of the distribution chain- it seems important to leading public health organizations that more control and policing is enforced. But does more policing and control at every level of the supply chain of the markets remove fake and illegal pharmaceuticals? In my account it seems quite the contrary. This paper brings forth the conflation between civil police as well as drug regulators- who police the pharmaceuticals. Through ethnographic accounts of carrying and forwarding agents, distributors and wholesalers, drug officials in Uttar Pradesh- this paper looks at how it is in changing hands that the pharmaceuticals end up being fake/or not fake in the accounts of the police. By throwing light on the accounts of how pharmaceuticals are policed, transported, drug bust scandals happen, I engage with the literature on policing, distribution and markets. I argue that certain pharmaceuticals have to become fake through carrying and forwarding agents, distributors, labourers, wholesalers through the eyes of the police and drug regulators.