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Policy Matters

AYUSH proposes to set up Central Drug Controller Office

Mumbai (EP): In order to boost the acceptability and export of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) , the Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has proposed to set up a Central Drug Controller’s Office for AYUSH drugs. It will be headed by Additional Drug Controller General of India (AYUSH ). The Department of Expenditure has allocated Rs 80 lakh in the annual plan 2012-13 for creating 40 posts in the proposed Central Drug Controller’s Office (AYUSH).

Commenting on the recent proposal made by Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ranjit Anand Puranik, Executive Director, Shree Dhootapapeshwar and Ex-General Secretary, Ayurvedic Drug Manufactures Association (ADMA) said, “Currently, there are around 10,000 drug manufacturing units in India and nearly 9,000 AYUSH manufacturing units. I feel the budget allocated is very less in comparison to the pharmaceutical sector. There is going to be a tough war between Ayush regulatory authority and DCGI because traditional medicines are extremely expensive and cost involved in monitoring this are much higher.”

Shashank Sandu, Managing Director, Sandu Pharmaceuticals said, “We came to know about the recent proposed move on AYUSH by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Though it is a good initiative by the government, I am not sure how much time it will take to be implemented.”

As per the information shared recently by Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare in the Lok Sabha, th e Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) ch aired by Secretary (Expenditure) has approved the proposal on October 4, 2010 for creating 40 posts in the proposed Central Drug Controller’s Office (AYUSH) including 25 regular and 15 contractual/outsourced posts and for supporting engagement of 330 scientific manpower in the state drug testing laboratories. The matter for creation of required manpower is under examination in consultation with t he Department of expenditure and a n allocation of Rs 80 lakh is made in the annual plan 2012-13 for this purpose.

At present, 44 drug testing laboratories are approved for testing AYUSH drugs as per the provisions of Drugs & Cosmetics Rules 1945. The department h as launched a scheme for voluntary quality certification of ASU Drugs in collaboration with the Quality Council of India (QCI). The Health and Family Welfare ministry has made mandatory Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) compliance for licensing of AYUSH drugs.

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