Govt to set up separate intelligence agencies to check fake drugs

Last Updated: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 15:50

New Delhi: Cracking down on the growing
menace of spurious drugs, government will introduce measures
including roping of private detective agencies, setting up a
separate intelligence network and a reward upto Rs 25 lakh for
informers.

Steps are also being taken to set up drug testing centres
at various ports besides offering rebates in ceiling price to
drug manufacturers adapting latest packing technology to
counter the menace, official sources said.

The government will set up a separate
intelligence-cum-legal cell in the Central Drug Standard
Control Organisation (CDSCO) and if necessary help of private
detective agencies will also be taken to unearth activities of
people involved in estimated Rs 17,500 crore fake and spurious
drug manufacturing business, they said.

Taking a cue from his experience in Jammu and Kashmir as
Chief Minister, Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has
already announced a reward for those who provide information
on fake drugs.

Under this scheme, people may earn upto a maximum of Rs
25 lakh as reward, they said, adding modalities were being
worked out.

Azad, during his tenure as Chief Minister, had announced
a reward on providing information against those who threw
grenades in public places. The scheme paid off and the grenade
throwing ended by and large.

The ministry would also engage experienced counsels of
the rank of Additional Solicitor General for supervising and
contesting court cases against those involved in the spurious
drugs business, the sources said.

The possibility of entering into public-private
Partnership in respect of drug testing laboratories is also
being explored "so that capacity and capability to test the
suspected drug samples on 24x7 basis is assured."

The government will also develop a national data bank of
all manufacturers and products licensed which would be
available to field officers on real time basis.

Long pending demands of the about Rs 85,000-crore pharma
industry for having dedicated small labs at ports to test
basic drugs is also likely to be accepted, the sources said.

"Frequent inspection of offshore companies, which are registered to judge their quality standards will also be
carried out. This will not have any additional burden of the
government because as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, foreign
manufacturer is supposed to deposit USD 5,000 towards audit of
the facilities abroad," they said.

The government is also working out modalities for
inter-ministerial meeting with Ministry of Home Affairs,
Ministry of Commerce and Department of Revenue Intelligence
among others to deal with the illicit trade.

Bureau Report



First Published: Sunday, August 9, 2009 - 15:50

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