Ramadoss defends decision to close vaccine production units

May 17th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Anbumani Ramadoss

Chennai, May 17 (IANS) Central Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Saturday defended the government’s decision to close India’s three prime vaccine production facilities and denied charges that the move would create shortage of vaccines in the country. “India supplies 80 percent of the vaccinations to developing countries. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has told us that if India’s production is not at par with the good manufacturing practice of the WHO’s National Regulatory Authority (NRA) standards, it will be an embarrassment for the country,” the minister said.

“Senior WHO officials have told us, ‘you (India) supply world class vaccines to most of the developing world, but your children get substandard vaccines manufactured at your own (government) facilities’,” he said.

India exports vaccinations worth Rs.15 billion every year and medicines worth Rs.14 billion.

The minister said that “a world class vaccine park” would come up near Chengalpet, about 100 km south of Chennai.

One of the units being closed is the ISO 9002 certified BCG laboratory in Chennai that produced liquid Bacillus Calmette-Gu

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