Govt to set up separate intelligence agencies to check fake drugs
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Last Updated: Sunday, August 09, 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 09, 2009, 15:50

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