State appoints drug controller
With the state government finally appointing a drug controller to strengthen the drug control administration, the first step towards strengthening the regulatory mechanism appears to have been taken.
Though the state had an investment worth several thousand crores in the pharmaceutical sector after the 2003 Central industrial package, its failure in appointing a drug controller had projected a weak image of its regulatory mechanism at the national level.
Navneet Marwaha, who was earlier the assistant drug controller, has been apppointed as the drug controller. Talking to The Tribune, Marwaha, after assuming charge today said the maintenance of quality in drug manufacturing , crackdown on quacks and curbing abuse of drugs, would be the priority areas. He said they would ensure the availability of quality drugs to the common man.
Welcoming the decision president of the Himachal Drug Manufacturers Association, Sanjay Guleria, said it would strengthen the department as it was a long-pending demand. Thanking Chief Minister PK Dhumal and Health Minister Dr Rajiv Bindal for apppointing the drug controller he said it would also make the state’s position sound before the national-level authorities who had been criticising the state till now for not having a drug controller.
It is worth mentioning that nearly 600 pharmaceutical units had set up their operations in the state and it had acquired the sobriquet of being the pharmaceutical hub of Asia. The ill-staffed drug control administration had become a cause of concern for the state as it failed to effectively regulate the units. The government had also decided to fill four posts of drug inspector and this step would help strengthen the regulatory mechanism.
The appointment of a drug controller had also opened promotional avenues for drug inspectors who had failed to get any promotion despite putting in several years of service. It would also help create a three-tier system where drug controller, assistant drug controller and drug inspectors would be able to perform different duties. Such systems already exist in the neighbouring states like Haryana.