Parliamentary panel recommends bringing of CDSCO under Dept of Pharmaceuticals

Parliamentary panel attached to the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has asked the Ministry to take up urgently the matter of bringing the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) under the administrative purview of the Department of Pharmaceuticals for better check on quality of drugs.

Bringing back the contentious issue into focus, the standing committee headed by Gopinath Munde said the monitoring the quality of drugs and check on spurious drugs are interlinked with pricing and availability of drugs.

“The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) may not be able to do full justice to its role regarding pricing and availability of drugs if the quality control set up does not come within its purview. The Committee, therefore, desire that the DoP should take up the matter regarding bringing the quality control and regulatory mechanism under one umbrella i.e. the DoP,” according to a recent report.

The debate has been going on for some time now over the issue. The DoP itself had taken up the matter with the Cabinet secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office, clearly stating that the CDSCO may be brought under the DoP.

Pushing the matter to the PMO, Lok Sabha member Dr Sujan Chakraborty had also written to the Prime Minister some time back with the same demand. He pointed out that the very creation of the DoP was to bring all important functions under the single Department to facilitate growth of pharma industry. If the CDSCO was not brought under DoP, the very purpose of the DoP would remain unfulfilled, he said.

The DoP, in its submission to the PMO, also claimed that as the issues relating to pricing, availability and quality of medicines are closely interlinked, CDSCO should be a part of the DoP so that it may be able to play its role more effectively to achieve its main objective to ensure availability of life saving drugs at, reasonable prices as envisaged in the drug policy.

“Quality is an essential parameter while considering the pricing and availability of medicines. In the absence of jurisdiction over the issue of quality of medicines, the DoP finds itself handicapped to do full justice to the role assigned to it. It is, therefore, extremely important to bring the quality control set up under the DoP,” the department conveyed to the PMO.

“Since the function of price control and the administrative control of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is already vested with the Department, this Department would be well equipped to address the significant issues related to the Pharmaceuticals,” it said.