Last Updated on July 24, 2021 by The Health Master
The ambitious proposal of the Tamil Nadu Drugs Control Administration (TN DCA) to establish a world class drug testing laboratory in Madurai to facilitate testing and analysis of drugs and cosmetic samples drawn from southern districts is becoming a reality soon with functioning of the lab in a few months time.
The construction of the building is about to finish this month and machinery will be set up without any delay. The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation Ltd (TN MSCL) is gearing up to procure the machinery through open tenders and the work for setting infrastructure facilities will be completed in another two months time. It is expected that the operation of the lab can be started very soon, S Sivabalan, director of the DCA, said.
“We aim to strengthen the drug regulatory system for ensuring quality drugs everywhere in the state with foolproof enforcement activities. Actually, the construction of the lab was to have completed and started operations one year ago, but the plan suffered a setback because of the pandemic situation.
Even now the construction process faces some labour problems due to pandemic, however, we expect that everything will be completed in three or four months. This is a joint venture by centre and state government,” he told.
The DC said the Madurai lab is expected to test 5,000 samples per year and it will facilitate and expedite the sample testing in the south. Highly sophisticated instruments will be installed at the lab. Once the new lab is commissioned, the workload of the Chennai lab can be reduced to testing of 8,000 samples from the present 10,000.
The new lab is set up with funding support from the central and state governments. After Chennai, Madurai is also a drug manufacturing hub. The total project cost for the laboratory is Rs. 20 crore.
At present the drugs control department has only one testing lab which is set up in the premises of the headquarter office at Teynampet in Chennai. Another government laboratory is the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research (KIPMR) located in Guindy, which is mainly intended to carry out testing of parenteral preparations but carries out testing of drug samples collected by the regulators also. This lab is under the direct control of the directorate of medical education (DME).
Sharing details about enforcement of drug laws, Sivabalan said recently 46 new drug inspectors have also joined the department and the number of inspectors has increased to 143. The sanctioned strength is 146 but the vacancy of three inspectors happened due to promotions.
In Tamil Nadu, enforcement of homeopathy medicine is also carried out by the allopathic drugs control department. But no separate licence is issued to Homoeopathy pharmacies. The allopathy pharmacy is taking the licence in 20 C and dealing in the sale of homoeopathic drugs.