Drug control officers demand technically qualified persons to head DCA in Telangana, AP

Our Bureau, HyderabadSaturday, July 12, 2014, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The drug control officers'  associations of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have demanded that the respective state governments should appoint technically qualified persons to head the Drug Control Administration (DCA) in both the states.

According to All India Drug Control Officers Confederation (AIDCOC), both the state governments should exercise their wisdom and select the right person who is well qualified to head the Drug Control Administration, unlike appointing IPS or IAS officers as done earlier.

“As Drug control administration deals with ensuring implementation of high standard regulations by the pharmaceutical manufacturers, it is important that a well qualified person should head the office, so that it makes easy for him to understand the intricacies of that field and helps in expediting the decision making process,” said a senior officer at the DCA.

Apart from enforcing the Drugs and Cosmetics Act of 1940, the state drug control officers are duty bound to ensure that standards quality, purity and efficacious drugs are available to the people. DCA officials also see that medicines are sold at the stipulated rates and check violations of DPCO order if any. They also that the manufacturers are following required regulations set by the Central Drug Control Administration and regulate the manufacture, sale and distribution of drugs in the State.

In addition to this, the DCA officials also play vital role in giving approvals to new drug products to pharma manufacturers and permission to pharmacy stores. DCA is also entitled to conduct regular inspection drives to check if there are any discrepancies and deviations in the approved product at the manufacturing units and also check the medical stores, blood banks and other related chemical and biotechnology units for quality and safety.

Having said this, the DCA officials feel that it is important that the government should appoint a person who is well aware of all these aspects of drug control administration, rather than appointing the police officer, who knows nothing about the industry but policing. “Except Andhra Pradesh, no other south Indian state has IAS and IPS as heads of the DCA. Currently, in Telangana there is no director general for the department. In AP, the department is headed by an IPS officer and we are demanding that only experts in the subject should head the department,” says Ravi Uday Bhaskar, secretary general AIDCOC.

Though the drugs and cosmetic rules state that drugs control organisations at the Central and state levels should be headed by technically qualified and experienced persons, the respective governments are not implementing it.

The AIDCOC has also demanded to set up an intelligence unit to detect spurious drugs manufacturers and irregularities in the pharma industry. The confederation has also sought to separate from the health department and wants a separate ministry for all pharmacy related institutions.