Workshop on Patient Safety and Drug Detection Technology began in New
Delhi today. Organised by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,
Government of India, World Health Organization Country Office for India
and Partnership for Safe Medicine (PSM) India, the workshop seeks to
share information on the appropriate use of detection technologies, and
discuss global cooperation related to the use of detection technologies
to promote drug safety. This is the first of its kind International meet
on ‘Patient Safety and Drug Detection Technology’ in the country. Shri
Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare,
Government of India was the Chief Guest on the occasion.
Addressing the inaugural programme, Shri Bandyopadhyay said that India
is now regarded as the ‘Pharmacy of the developing world’ and India is
the 3rd largest in volume and 12th largest in value. “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”. He added.
“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 & Family Welfare.
Addressing the inaugural programme, Shri P. K. Pradhan, Secretary to the
Government of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare said that
“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 &
Family Welfare in his address, highlighted the public health impact of
Shri Bejon Misra, Founder Director, Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM)
India said, “Monitoring of, and control over the pharmaceuticals ought
to be more stringent since it concerns health of the citizens and
especially in those cases where even minor lapses can lead to losses of
life. But, unfortunately we, in India do not have adequate regulations
to check such malpractices. The industry uses technology only to check
brand protection and market share. That has to change in the interest
It may be mentioned that spurious medicines pose a public health risk.
The Mashelkar Committee Report in 2003 highlighted the issue of spurious
medicines and made proposals to upgrade the Indian Drug Regulatory
Standards and Guidelines to international standards so as to tackle the
problem of spurious medicines. These medicines may erode public
confidence in health care systems, health care professionals, suppliers
and sellers of genuine drugs, pharmaceutical industry and drug
Shri Wajahat Habibullah, Chairman of Partnership for Safe Medicine (PSM)
India presided over the inaugural programme. 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.