Center working on proposal to test drugs prior to export at govt-run labs

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In an attempt to stop the export of sub-standard drugs abroad, the center is considering a proposal of testing drugs at government-run laboratories prior to the dispatch to other countries.

As per a source, the apex drug regulator the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has proposed for the additional check of the drugs at the government run labs and the union health ministry, along with the Department of Pharmaceuticals, and Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), have started deliberations on this.

“The CDSCO has submitted that some intervention from the government was necessary to stop the low-quality cough syrups from entering the global supply chain from India,” an official said. The proposal underlines a certificate of analysis of the batches issued by authorised laboratories for the exporters after which only the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will clear the release of the consignment for export. 

The spurious drugs exported by Indian pharma companies have been a cause of grave concern for the Indian government recently. Last year, the made-in-India cough syrups were allegedly linked to the deaths of 66 and 18 children in the Gambia and Uzbekistan, respectively.  The global health body World Health Organisation (WHO) has also issued Medical Product Alerts for substandard cough syrup exported to The Gambia and Uzbekistan.

The cough syrups meant for export may be sent for additional quality checks in regional or central drug testing labs before they are exported, said an official, adding that the implementation will take some time.