TN govt to enforce D&C Act, Rules strictly in state: Health secretary
In the wake of the recent unearthing of major illegal trade practices including recycling of expired drugs by certain pharmaceutical traders in Chennai, the Health Department of Tamil Nadu Government has decided to enforce the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Rules strictly in the state.
The department has instructed the Drugs Control Directorate to ensure all the pharmacy retail outlets in the state are functioning with direct involvement of qualified pharmacists. Those shops which dispense medicines without the presence of registered pharmacist, will be punished strictly, said V K Subburaju, principal secretary, DoH, Govt of Tamil Nadu.
He was speaking to Pharmabiz at his office on the new initiatives to be implemented by his office to bring some order in the industry and to strengthen the drugs control directorate following incidences of malpractices conducted by some drug mafia.
He said police have so far arrested 8 persons in connection with the case of recycling of expired drugs and another two persons have surrendered to the police. The incident has generated a lot of concern among the public, which later forced the chief minister to intervene in the matter.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, the city police have raided a godown of a leading pharma supplier at Purasawalkam in Chennai and seized expired drugs worth Rs 1 crore. Sources from the police department said that the raid would continue for some more days.
In another incident, police have found huge quantities of expired drugs dumped in an isolated place in Salem.
The health secretary said there will be constant and consistent drive against the bootleggers and the department will be strengthened to counter the menace. "The drugs control department is currently small but is going to be strengthened gradually. It is growing slowly keeping pace with the growing pharma sector. The department is now facing challenges for regulation. The state has a total of 42500 pharmacy shops and 600 manufacturing companies. But the department has only 50 drug inspectors. So we have decided to appoint 25 more drug inspectors in the near future," Subburaju said.
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He said even for minor irregularities like changing of labels or MRP, or for serious cases like selling of time barred medicines, marketing spurious drugs and dispensing medicines without ingredients will be taken up seriously.
Regarding discarding of date expired drugs into the municipal dump yard, he said police is investigating how the medicines have reached there and who is behind it. Police have formed special teams to investigate the case. He further said sensitization program on the use of drugs will be conducted for the public.
When asked whether his office has any plan to start common incinerator under government control to destroy the expired drugs, he said plenty of private incinerators are working in the city and no plan for starting one under government control.