The Union government has issued directives to Government hospitals to prescribe generic drugs along with branded ones, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday

India imported drugs worth Rs. 17,953 crore in 2009-10 and China was a major supplier of bulk drugs, the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“The government has decided to send drugs control officials for inspection of overseas drugs manufacturing sites, wherever considered necessary, to assess and confirm compliance of good manufacturing practices and other quality parameters,” he said during Question Hour.

The Minister said directives have been issued to government hospitals to prescribe generic drugs along with branded drugs.

13 lakh children die before age 1

Replying to another question, he said Infant Mortality Rate in the country is 50 per thousand live births which translates to deaths of 13 lakh children before they complete one year of age.

“Amongst other causes, insufficient health services also contribute to infant mortality,” he said.

The Government has devised schemes to reduce maternal and infant mortality. “The main interventions include promotion of institutional deliveries through Janani Suraksha Yojana, capacity building of health care provides, establishment of safe delivery points and specialised new born care units, provision of free referral transport for pregnant women and sick new born, universal immunisation and provision of home-based care for mother and newborn,” he added.