Kashmir to get modern drug testing lab

Union Health Ministry Seeks Proposal


Srinagar, Apr 26: The Union Health Ministry has sought proposal from the J&K Government for setting up a state-of-the-art drug testing facility in Kashmir, which is witnessing outrage over supply of substandard drugs to government hospitals. The Ministry assured that the proposal would be cleared on fast-track basis.
The Drug Controller General of India, Dr GN Singh, said he reminded the State Controller for Drug and Food, Satish Gupta, about the plans of the Union Health Ministry in a meeting at New Delhi today.
Gupta was in Delhi to attend a meeting regarding implementation of the Food Safety Act.
The present Drug Analyst Laboratory at Srinagar is ill-equipped to carry out tests of different medicines and is facing severe financial and manpower crunch.
In the past, many tests of various drugs including life saving medicines have taken months here to get the analytical reports due to lack of machinery, risking lives of patients.
Even the report of samples sent outside for quality tests get delayed by weeks and months.
Dr Singh said the Srinagar Laboratory would be equipped to undertake tests of chemical and biological drugs and herbal medicines.
At the same time the existing laboratory at Jammu would be upgraded to modern requirements.
“The Health Ministry has assured the state that the proposal will be cleared on fast-track basis,” Dr Singh said.
Though there was already financial provision for up-gradation of the infrastructure under 12th five-year plan in all states, Dr Singh said “special emphasis” would be given to Jammu and Kashmir.
The Central Drug Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has also issued direction to the authorities at two central laboratories in Kolkata and Chandigarh to entertain cases from J&K on special basis till the state gets fully equipped with the infrastructure.
“The directions were passed today,” Dr Singh said.
Dr Singh said the “recent development” in the state also came up for discussion during the meeting.
“He (Gupta) briefed me about the developments and the steps taken by the government,” Dr Singh said. “The Union Health Ministry is closely monitoring the developments,” he said.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Gupta said the Government of India has already agreed to support J&K for upgrading the infrastructure for testing quality of medicines.
For past many days, Kashmir is witnessing protests over supply of fake and spurious drugs to the government-run hospitals.

Meanwhile, Society for Consultant Doctors (SCD) has welcomed the government initiative to establish J&K Health and Medical Services Corporation on the pattern of Tamil Nadu Druig Supplies Corporation (TNDSC).
In a statement issued here today, SCD spokesman Dr Rashid Para said it is a big and watershed development for future of health care services in the state. “Not only will it revolutionize health care services in the state but it will also bring in greater transparency in the purchase of medicines and equipments,” he said and added that the common man will reap the maximum benefits and it will check aberrations and misdemeanors.
SCD has urged the government to bring in men of integrity and highest credibility to head and run the proposed corporation.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Apr 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Apr 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 27 Apr 2013 00:00:00 IST

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