Monday, June 24, 2024

Licences of 18 pharma companies cancelled

NEW DELHI : The central government has cancelled the licences of 18 drug companies for allegedly manufacturing spurious drugs following extensive inspections by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), an official said on Tuesday.

As many as 76 pharma companies were inspected across 20 states and UTs jointly by state and central drug regulators.

As part of clean-up drive, the union government has identified around 203 pharma companies.

“Under phase 1, we have taken action against 76 pharma companies in the last 15 days. Their licences have been cancelled allegedly for manufacturing spurious/sub standard drugs and violating good manufacturing practices,” the official said. Around 26 drug makers have been issued show cause notices.

According to the official, the majority of the pharma companies under the government scanner are from Himachal Pradesh (70), Uttarakhand (45) and Madhya Pradesh (23).

In addition, the union health ministry is drafting regulations for e-pharmacy stores with stronger actions against them. This is being done due to rising data privacy concerns, fraudulent practices and ‘irrational’ sale of drugs.

The fresh regulations are likely to be incorporated in a revised version of New Drugs, Medical Devices and Cosmetics Bill, 2023.

The crackdown on pharma companies comes at a time when India has suffered a blow to its reputation as a manufacturer and global supplier of quality drugs. In the recent past, toxic cough syrups have caused children’s deaths in Gambia and Uzbekistan; and contaminated eye drops in the US have been linked to loss of vision and one death.

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