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Indian Ministry of Health, WHO and Partnership for Safe Medicines India Declare Measures to Curb Spurious and Not-of-Standard Medicines

New Delhi, Monday, September 10, 2012:  On September 10th, 2012, the first collaborative workshop was held organized by PSM India in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and World Health Organisation (WHO) India Country Office to demonstrate its commitment towards patient safety globally. More than 50 eminent experts participated representing countries from Europe, North America, Asia, South America and Africa.

Shri. Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Honorable Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India was the chief guest of the occasion.

Addressing the inaugural programme, Shri Bandyopadhyay said that India is now regarded as the "pharmacy of the developing world" and that India is the third largest producer in volume and 12th largest in value of pharmaceuticals.

“Our current focus is to strengthen policies related to drug regulation and the regulatory framework. We propose to augment the regulatory capacities, both in the drug and food sectors in the 12th Five Year Plan. I am sure the workshop will be able to provide a blueprint in this regard,” Shri Bandyopadhyay said.

“Being a federal state where regulatory enforcement is done by the States, we need to ensure that we have effective systems in place in each State. We are going to scale up the capacity of enforcement at the State level during the 12th Plan period which is from 2012-17,” said Dr Arun Kumar Panda, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Addressing the inaugural programme, Shri P. K. Pradhan, Secretary to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said: “There is need to build the capacity of the drug regulatory authorities, for enhanced detection of spurious medicines.”

“There is also a need to further strengthen the efforts, create a database, step up vigilance, strengthen laboratories in the country, including spreading awareness about the antimicrobial resistance etc. amongst the consumers, and to further develop brand India,” he added.

“Stringent regulatory control of medicines and enforcement by national medicines regulatory authorities can contribute significantly to prevention and detection of spurious medicines,” said Dr Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India.

Dr Jagdish Prasad, DGHS, Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in his address, highlighted the public health impact of spurious medicines.

“The partners will work closely to develop a blueprint with a specific timeline to design a strategy to implement the use of detection and authentication technologies to make spurious and unsafe medicines easily detectable and take prompt action against all such manufacturers who violate the laws and standards of our country by working closely with the State Regulators and law enforcers,” said Bejon Misra, Founder Director, The Partnership for Safe Medicines India.

Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman of The Partnership for Safe Medicine India presided over the inaugural programme.

Mr. Jeffrey Gren, Director, Office of Health and Consumer, Goods, US Department of Commerce said, “No doubt technology can play a major role to track and trace the menace of spurious drugs but the need of the hour is to evolve a more holistic approach that ensures involvement of all stakeholders in the supply chain.”

At the international workshop, it was announced that Government of India, World Health Organization and The Partnership for Safe Medicine India will collaborate to find an effective mechanism to ensure patients safety prevail over commercial interest and regain consumer confidence in the existing supply chain. The need for the use of user-friendly technologies to make detection of spurious medicines in the supply chain was highlighted at the first of its kind International Workshop on ‘Patient Safety and Drug Detection Technology’ in the capital today.

Participants included key government officials, regulatory bodies and leading civil society groups working in India in the interest of the patients
and consumers.

Key dignitaries included Hon’ble Minster of State Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of India, Shri Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Shri P. K. Pradhan, Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Dr. Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services, Government of India, Shri C. P. Singh, Chairman, National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) India. Dr. Arun Kumar Panda, Joint Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare; Dr. Nata Menabde, WHO Representative to India; Dr. Michael Deats (WHO HQ) and Dr. Madhur Gupta, (WHO India Country Office); Dr G. N. Singh, Drug Controller General of India; Mr. Anil Rajput, Chairman, FICCI CASCADE.
Participants in the workshop included key government officials, regulatory bodies and civil society groups.

The workshop also witnessed participation from international speakers from WHO, EDQM, USFDA, NAFDAC, Nigeria, Argentina, World Bank, France, Singapore, USA, UK, Thailand and eminent speakers and representatives from industry federations in India.

For more information about The Partnership For Safe Medicines India, please visit: http://www.safemedicinesindia.in/.

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