Friday, September 4, 2009

Times of India: Drug Inspectors to Finally Get the Power to Arrest

The Times of India recently reported that India’s Drug Control Administration (DCA) “will soon be powered to arrest a pharmaceutical company owner for manufacturing spurious drugs or a medical shop owner for selling substandard drug and investigate the case.”

According to the article up to now, the DCA had no arrest powers, could not detain individuals for investigation or seize suspect material. The DCA has until now had to hand over all of their cases to civil police for further investigation or arrest.

XStream Systems endorses higher standards of regulatory standards, enforcement, inspection and penalties as it relates to securing the quality and standards of the pharmaceutical supply chain. It is especially important for those nations who are expanding the export of pharmaceutical products and raw materials used to make them globally.

Here are some of the interesting points and quotes from the article:

  • Further, if a particular drug leads to the death of a person, the manufacturer will get life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 10 lakh will be imposed under a new amendment. The fine amount will go to the family of the victim.

  • "This amendment will be a boon for the drugs inspectors. As of now even investigation is being done through correspondence with the accused or companies as there are no powers to take a manufacturer or a medical shop owner into custody for inquiry," DCA director general RP Meena told STOI. Trials of the cases would be speeded up and conviction rate would be increased with the vast powers, he added.

  • Last year the DCA raided units and shops and made 48 seizures worth of Rs 1.97 crore drugs and handed over them to the police. The authorities launched prosecutions in 535 cases since 2004. Of which, 234 cases ended up in convictions and in 212 cases the accused were acquitted. For now, trials are going on in various courts in 1,012 cases.

  • Also, last year 70 pharma companies were asked to stop production of drugs as they were not of standard quality. Interestingly, 84 more companies were accused of manufacturing substandard and misbranded drugs but are located in other states. "Our state requires such stringent laws as as many as 1,703 drugs manufacturing units and 50,238 medical shops are located in the state," DCA joint director K Subbi Reddy told STOI.

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