Cipla ltd.
Employees and security staff work at the reception area of Cipla at its headquarters in Mumbai on June 17, 2015.Reuters File

The drugs of India's leading pharmaceutical companies such as Cipla, Macleods Pharma, Sanofi India and Ipca Labs have been found by India's drug regulator to be of substandard quality.

Some commonly used medicines which have been found lacking in quality include antacid tablets, painkillers and Vitamin C supplements.

After Sanofi India 's recall of some batches of combiflam on Thursday, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) was quoted as saying by the Hindustan Times on Friday that all drug firms whose products feature on the drug alert list should recall the medicines from markets.

India's drug controller has found 102 medicines failing several drug tests, which have been put on its alert list since December 2015.The drug controller has found various quality concerns such as spurious, substandard, adulterate, or misbranded medicines.

Cipla's CIP-ZOX, Macleods Pharma's Orcerin, Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceutical Ltd's Norfloxacin, Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Ltd's Pantoprazole and Ipca Labs' Zerodol-SP are some of the drugs which feature on the drug alert list.

"All drugs listed under the drug alert list should be recalled with immediate effect. We have found some serious problems with the making of the drug, because of which we have highlighted quality concerns. Hence, recall is necessary for all companies," GN Singh, the DCGI, was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying.

Singh further said companies do recall the substandard batches of medicines, but they do it quietly to keep the brand image intact.

French drug-maker Sanofi's India unit on Thursday said it had recalled two batches of its combiflam drug from markets following the drug failing the disintegration test.

The disintegration test predicts the time taken by a medicine to be effective in a body. Drugs taken break into granules inside the body and then become effective

Cipla's drug CIP-ZOX was also found to be failing disintegration test. CIP-ZOX is used in the treatment of muscle spasms and features on the February 2016 drug alert list.

Macleods Pharmaceutical's Orcerin, used for osteoarthritis treatment, was found to have impurities, according to April, 2016 drug alert list.

Ipca Laboratories' Zerodol-SP tablets, failed the "Identification and Assay" test and is on the December 2015 drug alert. The medicine is used in the treatment of pain and fever.