To ensure the availability of drugs with assured quality at an affordable price, amidst the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) has instructed pharma industry associations to share drug availability stock report on an urgent basis.
Recently, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), has issued a letter to all the State and Union Territories Drugs controllers instructing them to take various measures in order to ensure availability of sufficient quantities of drugs in the domestic retail markets besides ensuring the products conform to the prescribed specifications.
The Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), a wing of the Ministry has shared a list of 55 drugs for ICU management of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals with the drug regulators. It has also provided a list of 96 drugs of general category containing essential drugs that are projected to be requiredin the country during the COVID-19 situation.
Dr Hemant Koshia, Commissioner, Food and Drugs, Control Administration (FDCA) Gujarat, said, ” Yesterday, we got an instruction from the centre to provide available medicines in the state. I have already instructed my team to gather the data on a priority basis and in the next two to three days, we will be able to provide the exact data to the authority.”
He further informed that as of now, there is no shortage of any drugs and other essential supplies in the state and we are keeping a constant watch on each and every activity in the state.
Following the instruction from the MoH&FW, the DCG(I) has issued an instruction letter to all pharma associations to update the drug availability of the shared list of drugs in the market.
Mahesh Doshi, President, Indian Drugs Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) said, “We have asked our member companies to furnish the details of the requested category of medicines on an SOS basis. We are trying to submit the data from our end to the State FDA authority by early next week.”
The government has issued instructions to the regulators to monitor stock piling of drugs and tightening procedures to monitor for any possible shortage of the drugs caused by disruption to global supplies. It is required to maintain checks on the availability of drugs for use in the treatment of COVID-19 disease, in consultation with relevant stakeholders.
The government has also highlighted that there is a need for random market surveys, regular review reports from health agencies and manufactures on drug availability and developing an integrated plan to reduce the impact of any global shortage of drugs stocks. Instructions have been given to ensure the quality of medicines, vaccines and medical devices, including in-vitro at affordable prices in the market and to prevent black-marketing, illegal hoarding and creating artificial shortages.
The government also stressed to a point to have effective communication and interaction with manufacturers / stakeholders and ensuring that retailers/wholesalers continue to adhere to normal ordering patterns and avoid stockpiling of medications.
A source from the development indicated that the government is taking all the required measures in order to ensure the drug availability in the market for next three months.