India is one of the largest manufacturers of medicines and exports medicines to as many as 200 countries. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, approved Rs. 1,750 crore for strengthening drug regulatory systems at both central and state levels.
A cabinet communique said, "Of the total amount, an amount of Rs. 900 crore will be spent on strengthening central structures and Rs. 850 crore will be made available to the state governments. The regulatory upgradation will give additional equipment and manpower to the existing drug testing laboratories, establish new labs for testing drugs, medical devices and cosmetics and introduce mobile drug testing laboratories."
The upgradation also includes the creation of additional manpower for regulatory structures in the emerging areas of stem cell therapy, regenerative medicine, biologicals and medical devices. Other measures include introduction of organization wide e-governance and IT enabled/online services, setting up of a training academy for regulatory and drug testing officials for both the central and state governments.
The strengthening measures are also aimed at mitigating the disease burden of India and to propel the export of India's pharmaceutical products. The drug regulatory system strengthening and upgradation exercise will be executed in three years.