By Our Correspondent
INDIA- The central government of India has been urged by the Indian Pharmacist Association (IPA); to create a separate Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in India, which can be governed by the ministry of health and family welfare. This model has been adopted in Goa, Maharashra and Gujarat, and resulted in better coordination with agencies to deal with food and drugs laws.
According to a media report; IPA president Abhay Kumar has written a letter to PM Narendra Modi, saying that creation of a separate department of FDA in appropriate ministry and similar structures should be made mandatory in all states and Union Territories for uniform implementation of food and drugs laws throughout the country.
Kumar in his letter said that at present Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and recently Punjab government have created the FDA department with food and drugs divisions functioning effectively under a senior level secretary. At present, the food law is implemented Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under the health ministry and drug laws like D&C Act, DPCO, Pharmacy Act are implemented by different ministries. He further suggested that the implementation of the food and drugs laws should be handed over to professionally trained personnel who can efficiently manage, as there is no dearth of manpower from the food and drugs sectors.
In the states and Union Territories the food and drug laws are by and large enforced by directorate of health services with poor infrastructure and lack of professionally trained enforcement personnel, results in poor implementation of these laws. In most of the states even the full time regular drugs inspectors who are the main instrument for implementation of Drugs and Cosmetic Act 1948 are not posted and the drugs control department runs on ex-officio staffs.
Further, he expressed the need to create a new department independent from health department with inter-sectoral coordination especially with health, agriculture, veterinary, consumer affairs, fertilizers, chemical departments/ministries, which can function as an apex body of the food and drugs authorities under the ministry of health and family welfare or under appropriate ministry.