90 new drug inspectors appointed and Rs. 14 crore sanctioned for upgrading laboratory
The Drugs Control Department has stepped up its surveillance mechanism in the State and already 230 cases have been booked so far this year against chemists, druggists and stockists for various violations.
While additional manpower has been recruited to step up vigilance, the Directorate of Drugs Control is acting tough on offences committed by pharmaceutical traders with special focus on preventing selling of spurious medicines.
Talking to The Hindu here on Sunday, the Director of Drugs Control G. Selvaraj has said 230 cases were booked till now in 2012-13 and serious action will be initiated after completing the investigation.
In 2011-12, the drug control authorities have booked 270 cases for violations and the enquiry process is going on.
He said that the drug control vigilance could be enhanced in the State due to recruitment of new drug inspectors last year.
“Earlier, there was a huge shortage of manpower for us. Totally, 90 drug inspectors were appointed and at present there are 138 drug inspectors available to carry out raids across the State,” the Director said.
Mr. Selvaraj informed that the Drug Testing Lab of the Directorate of Drug Control in Chennai is being upgraded at a cost of Rs. 14 crore.
“We have appointed staff at various levels in this laboratory and latest equipment required for testing and analysis of drugs seized during inspections is being procured. The prevalence of spurious drugs has come down significantly in the market due to strict vigil and monitoring by us,” he said.
The Director of Drugs Control also said the prices of several essential medicines are set to come down as they have been included in the National List of Essential Medicines.
“Previously, there were only 78 drugs in that list and many of them are imported ones. The new list with 348 essential medicines was announced on last December 7 and once they come under drug control, their prices too will be reduced for the benefit of patients,” he added.
The New Drug Pricing Policy was prepared by National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority by taking into account the common/essential drugs used by people.
Mr. Selvaraj further said the drugs regime in India will gradually switch over to generic market rather than depending on brand names. “As and when the Drug Price Control Order is issued at the national level, Tamil Nadu too will follow suit,” he informed.
He was in Madurai to participate in the Pharmacy Alumni Association get-together in Madurai Medical College campus.