Just 66 drug inspectors for 1.2 billion people in India

August 24th, 2011 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 24 (IANS) India has only 66 inspectors to monitor the quality of pharmaceutical products in the country of over 1.2 billion people - raising questions about the ability of the regulators to maintain quality of medicines.

“Three years back, the situation was even worse. We had just 12 inspectors,” Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) Surinder Singh told reporters Wednesday.

He said the government targets to increase the number of inspectors to nearly 1,000 in five years.

“We are in the process to hire new people. The government has already sanctioned 327 posts,” Singh said on the sidelines of the fourth medical technology conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

He said the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) was not able to perform its duty due to lack of manpower.

“There is a huge capacity building exercise taking place. We are hiring new people and expanding our reach to different locations,” Singh said.

“A sea change is happening in the system but we have a long way to go,” he said.

Singh said the CDSCO also plans to appoint inspectors in countries like China, African and Latin American countries, which are big importers of Indian pharma products.

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