India and US ink MoUs for mental health and safe drugs

In this age of generic drug prescription, it is learnt that every third drug prescribed by US doctors is an Indian formulation.

Picture: Pixabay

In a major effort to further strengthen the economic ties, the US and India have inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the area of mental health and safe drugs.

The MoU for safe drugs was signed between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).

On the mental health front, US is way ahead going by the awareness and recognition of a mental disorder unlike India.

The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru noted that India has a lot to learn from the US in the area of identifying patients with mental diseases and disorders to ensure that treatment protocols are not discontinued.

Akanksha Pandey, Clinical Psychologist, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bengaluru pointed out that the agreement on mental health opens up new avenues, especially in research and better clinical service designs in treating mental health issues.

This is more so important for India with low awareness, stigma and limited utility of mental health services.

The agreement also stresses to explore Indian traditional therapies and medicines for mental health issues in the two countries.

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It also sheds light on the importance of mental health vis-a-vis physical health in better policy making, effective delivery model in healthcare and a greater communication in the society.

Commenting on the MoU for safe drugs, Kaushik Desai, pharma consultant noted that this was the best that could happen for the pharma sector on the President Donald Trump visit to India.

The pact for safe medical products spanning from medicines and medical devices will bring India to the fore of advanced technology.

US is way ahead in pharmaceutical research and development besides manufacture and marketing.

In this age of generic drug prescription, it is learnt that every third drug prescribed by US doctors is an Indian formulation.

Hence the MoU will place Indian pharma strategically in the export market to deliver safe medicines.

Considering the situation of the several recall on account of unsafe medicines, the MoU is of much significance. T

his move will also support in improving image of Indian pharmaceutical industry and help in controlling menace of counterfeit medicines.

Indian pharma can share and also adopt best practices from its US counterparts in manufacture and control of medicines of the highest quality, said Desai adding that this pact is only going to boost our pharma sector in the long term.

Suresh Khanna, member Steering committee, Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and designated partner, Dossier Solutions and Services LLP, pointed out with our capability of technical trained manpower and the highest number of US FDA approved facilities together with the largest filing of abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDAs) India can be the desired partner for the US.

This will enable accessing high quality, safe and affordable drugs from approved facilities for US patients. This is a win-win situation for both the countries.

The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) reports that the US accounts for more than 30 per cent of total Indian pharma costs or US$ 5.82 billion worth of value in 2018-19. Moreover 80 per cent of the bulk drug imports in the US are from China and India.

Now with the coronavirus affecting China and the US-China trade war, the MoU for safe drugs is of considerable importance. As US contemplates to connect with other suppliers, India is positioned to chip in its supplies.

We see that Indian pharma can become a partner of choice and strengthen its stand in the US market and this is where the MoU for safe drugs between the two countries stand to gain, said GG Gurudatta, CEO, Estima Pharma.