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Ayush DTAB fails to hold statutory quarterly meeting for one year: TN member

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Tuesday, April 5, 2011, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Although the Drug Technical Advisory Board (DTAB) for Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani is expected to meet once in three months, not a single meeting was convened by the Board for the last one year according to one committee member from Tamil Nadu.
Demanding calling of an immediate meeting of the DTAB, the member has written to the Secretary of Ayush raising some critical problems faced by the industry to be discussed in the meeting. The committee is supposed to discuss various issues of the industry and those of the consumers to find out immediate solutions.
The member, Dr P Jayaprakash Narayan, whose expertise is used by various scientific and technical committees of Ayush department, said in his letter that the Board has to meet regularly, or else its very purpose will not be served. He also objected to the practice of issuing orders on crucial issues without consulting and discussing in the Board.
While speaking to Pharmabiz he said that government is issuing orders arbitrarily on issues like labelling, exports, drug safety, Ayush guidelines etc. These have to be discussed in the DTAB which is constituted for advising and amendment of rules. This committee is responsible for the implementation of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and it is the highest statutory body under Ayush.
Because of the delay in holding the meeting, he said, the second edition of the Formulary for Siddha medicines could not be brought out. The formulary has to be recognized and published on the advice of DTAB. The first volume of the formulary is not available anywhere now. Likewise, the compilation of the second edition of the Siddha Pharmacopoeia has been completed, but that also is now in the cold storage for want of approval of the committee. Dr Jayaprakash Narayan has also forwarded the copy of his letter to the Director General of Health Services, who is the chairman of the DTAB.
Dr Jayaprakash Narayan, who is also the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Siddha (CCRAS), said DTAB can do a lot for the development of Siddha system in Tamil Nadu, but the bureaucrats in Delhi are not interested to take up any step towards it. According to him the state department has got some misunderstanding about Ayush rules that forced it to restrain issuance of licences to proprietary medicines. In Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, if a researcher submits certificates of two doctors proving the efficacy and safety of a proprietary drug, the department will approve that drug. But the Tamil Nadu ISM department is conservative in that matter where in the involvement of DTAB can solve the problem, he said.
The expert member said he will raise the problem of shortage of drug testing laboratories for Siddha in the coming DTAB meeting.


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