The Karnataka State Drugs Control Department is gearing up to establish mobile and biological testing laboratories in the State. A proposal seeking funds from the Centre has already been submitted to the Union government, said State Drugs Controller B.R. Jagashetty on Saturday.

Speaking at a programme organised to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the Government Pharmacy College in the city, Dr. Jagashetty said the proposal to set up these labs had been pending for long.

He later told The Hindu that vaccines, blood products and biological drugs had become indispensable therapy options in the healthcare sector. “There is a need to ensure that there is an advanced testing facility in Karnataka. Many of these drugs face issues pertaining to quality (substandard) mainly because of poor cold storage facilities,” he said.

While the biological lab would facilitate testing of vaccines, blood products and biological drugs, the mobile labs would help in testing drugs in rural areas. “The plan is to start with five mobile labs in the districts of Bangalore, Mysore, Hubli, Bellary and Gulbarga. Each mobile van will be customised with advanced testing equipment and manned by qualified analysts and technicians. These vans will visit chemists’ shops and pharmacies randomly in rural areas and also based on complaints,” he said.

He said this would not only instil a sense of responsibility among the chemists and discourage them from selling spurious drugs but also ensure proper storage of medicines.

“It has been our dream to set up these laboratories. Although it had been decided to set up the labs with funds from both the State and Central governments, we have sent a proposal to the Centre seeking grant of Rs. 149 crore for the labs,” said Dr. Jagashetty.

Pharmacy college

Earlier, Minister of State for Medical Education Sharanaprakash Rudrappa Patil, who released a souvenir brought out to mark the occasion, said the government would expedite the process of setting up a second government pharmacy college in north Karnataka.

“The demand for a second college has been pending. We have also realised that there is a need for another college and we will meet the demand,” he said.

As a profession

Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader spoke on the importance of pharmacy as a profession. “All our plans to upgrade hospitals and provide quality healthcare can be implemented only if we have the required number of qualified pharmacists. I assure all assistance from the Health Department to the Drugs Control Department,” he said. Principal Secretary (Health and Family Welfare) M. Madan Gopal released a documentary on the completion of 50 years of the Government College of Pharmacy.

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