Drug Controller for a single window system of governance

 E Kumar Sharma   New Delhi     Last Updated: September 1, 2017  | 20:16 IST
Drug Controller for a single window system of governance

G N Singh, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) sees way ahead in having a "single window system of governance". Without elaborating much, he says an integrated and unified approach in handling affairs concerning health and medicines in the country, could go a long way in unlocking the huge potential of the industry.  

His comments gain importance in the light of an old debate within the industry and government on the need to integrate ministries involved with health and pharmacy. For instance , there has been speculation for over a year now that the government may consider getting the department of pharmaceuticals and the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) under the purview of the health ministry. Both are today under the ministry of chemicals and fertilisers. Whether this will happen at all and if it does, then when , is anybody's guess and pure speculation at the moment. The key point made by Singh is clearly around measures that can lead to single window for approvals and on major decision-making , which many in the industry, would welcome. He says it could go a long way for the sector as the "Indian pharma industry has the potential to be a growth engine for the Indian economy since India is already known as the pharmacy of the world." On specific policy measures and the operational turf for the ministry of health and family welfare, under which the DCGI comes, he did not wish to comment. "It is a policy level decision which has to be taken by the government and as a regulator , I have no comment to offer on the matter," is all he would say.  While again maintaining that a seamless integration in policy-making was best suited for the sector, he did point out that globally in most countries the regulation of medical products comes within the purview of the health ministry.

The thinking on these matters is crucial at this juncture with the ongoing debate around the draft pharmaceutical policy. It has continued to be in the news. As is apparent now, it is not just the industry that is not in total agreement. Different voices are also being picked up from within government circles. It has already been reported in the media on the objections from the ministry of health and also some of the reservations that the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) has had with the draft. The extent to which all the views get raised and incorporated into the policy, need to be seen.

  • Print

A    A   A