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State FDA authorities initiate measures to ensure availability of masks and hand sanitisers

Sikkim, which is facing a shortage of hand sanitisers, has given manufacturing license to three firms, whereas the Gujarat FDCA has asked manufacturers to increase the productions

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In order to ensure the availability of hand sanitisers, surgical and protective masks within the states, the State Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorities all over the nation are speeding up the manufacturing licenses of these essential commodities.

Recently, the Sikkim State FDA authority provided the manufacturing licenses to three hand sanitizer manufacturing companies and expecting them to make the availability of products by next week. The FDA authority also expects more applications in the coming weeks.

The Gujarat Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA) has asked the state manufacturers of hand sanitiser, 2ply, 3ply and N95 mask to increase the production of these products.

The state has a total of142 hand sanitiser manufacturers, comprising also of Drugs and Cosmetic and Herbal categories ie, 110 and 32 respectively. In the last two weeks, the state FDCA authority has given 373 product licensing, with a break up of 318 in Drugs and Cosmetics category and 55 in Herbal category for different variants.

Informing about the situation in Sikkim during the Covid-19, Dr T K Rai, Deputy Drug Controller, HC HS & FW, Sikkim said, “We are facing difficulties in sourcing hand sanitisers because before the outbreak of Covid-19 we were completely dependent on other states for same. Now to fulfil the state requirements, we have fastened up the manufacturing licenses and last week we gave license to three companies and their products are expected to be in the market from next week onwards.”
He also informed that they have sufficient masks available in the state. “As we have communicated to all pharmacists in the state to ensure the availability of mask and to give only to those people who are showing symptoms of the disease,” he added.

Commenting on the measures taken by the Gujarat FDCA during coronavirus pandemic towards ensuring the availability of essential commodities, Dr Hemant Koshia, Commissioner, FDCA said, “Till yesterday, the Gujarat state did not have any positive case of Covid-19, but last night the state registered two positive cases. We are taking all the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of disease in the state. Presently, the state doesn’t face the scarcity of hand sanitisers, 2ply, 3ply and N95 masks. However, we have asked our manufacturers to increase the production for these and to facilitate that, we are ensuring uninterrupted power supply to all those units. Our objective is to fulfill the state requirements as well as supply these products to neighbouring states. Some of our (state) manufacturers have started exporting these products to Covid-19 affected countries already.”

Recently, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) issued an office memorandum to all manufacturers and importers of surgical and protective masks, gloves and hand sanitisers to furnish the informations like the product category, brand, manufactured, marketed or imported, pack size, average price of per sale, which should include price to stockist/ hospital per pack excluding of GST as in October 2019 and MRP of per pack inclusive of GST as in October 2019, along with applicable GST rate. All this information needs to be provided by the manufacturer/importers of surgical and protective masks before the end of March 20th.

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