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Health ministry sets up exclusive regulatory structure at CDSCO for Ayush

Arun Sreenivasan, New Delhi
Friday, February 9, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In a significant move aimed at creating a structured regulatory mechanism for alternative medicines, the Union health ministry has set up a vertical structure for Ayush sector in the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) with immediate effect.

According to a government order, 12 new posts of deputy drug controllers, assistant drug controllers and inspectors of Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homoeopathy are also created for the purpose. Till the new posts are filled, technical officers of the ministry of Ayush will handle their responsibilities. The officers would be responsible for carrying out the regulatory work in accordance with the Drugs and Cosmetics Acts 1940 till regular incumbents were appointed, the order stated.

“The new vertical structure is already in place at the CDSCO. We are now looking for qualified hands to fill the new posts,” an Ayush ministry official told Pharmabiz.

At present, regulatory framework for Ayush drugs is enforced by the state governments as per the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and there is no separate central agency for the regulation of alternative medicines.

“The move will help ensure good manufacturing practices in the industry and also improve the credibility of alternative medicines,” a Delhi-based Ayurvedic drug manufacturer and exporter opined.

The decision to set up an exclusive vertical structure at CDSCO for Ayush is timely and pertinent as the need for an effective regulatory mechanism was highlighted recently by a task force constituted by the government to look into issues concerning the sector.

“The Ayush industry regulation gets neglected with many states not even having qualified manpower and hence the consumer does not get access to quality products as intended under the regulation. There is poor inflow of samples to Ayush laboratories for testing quality, and laboratories set up by investing considerable funds by the ministry function poorly,” the task force had said in its final report.

According to official data, the number of people practising alternative systems of healing is on the rise in the country. Ayush minister Shripad Naik had told Lok Sabha recently that in the past two years there has been about 5 per cent increase. India, with a wealth of 6,600 medicinal plants, is the second largest exporter of Ayush and herbal products in the world. According to various surveys, the Ayush industry would touch Rs.1.4 trillion by 2020 and might grow in double digits by providing direct employment to one million and indirect jobs to 25 million by 2020.


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