Government's Mini Drug Testing Lab Project Commissions New HPLC Machines, Recruits Staff To Enhance Surveillance

Government's Mini Drug Testing Lab Project Commissions New HPLC Machines, Recruits Staff To Enhance Surveillance

Mumbai, 9 April 2018: The Union health ministry's mini drug testing lab project is fast catching up its pace with the appointment of staff and commissioning of new HPLC machines meant to assess drug purity and strength. 


The project envisages setting up of mini drug testing labs at Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi and Chennai.


Three of the eight mini-labs were expected to start last year at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT), Nhava Sheva in Navi Mumbai, Mumbai Airport and Ahmedabad Airport as part of its mandate to control exports and imports of spurious drugs.


These labs will primarily enhance the capability for analysis and detection of spurious, NSQ and counterfeit medicines in less than 40 seconds time for exports at the airport without any manual intervention.


The project which was earlier held up due to inordinate delays in hiring of competent staff will get three Junior Scientific Associates (JSA) and three HPLC machines at JNPT, Nhava Sheva, Mumbai Airport and Ahmedabad Airport. It was reported earlier that there was delay in procurement of equipment for kick-starting the operations of the labs.


The project, which was scheduled to kick-start last year, will assess the quality of drugs imported into the country. The Union health ministry had also appointed an agency for the same but barely 50 per cent procurement of equipment for each of the labs has been done.


According to the plan, labs will be equipped with advanced analytical modalities like AAS, GC, HPLC, IR and NIRS among others for effective detection, analysis and reporting on drug quality.


Estimated to cost around Rs. 25 crore for which funds have already been sanctioned, the mini-labs will be manned by a team of nine technical personnel led by a senior scientific officer. Government is also planning to expand Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) capacity by 2020 by adding a total of 20 mini drug-testing labs at the port offices of the drug regulator.


Central government had allocated Rs. 900 crore for enhancing manpower and capacities of mini labs at port offices and mobile labs at CDSCO level. A total of additional 1,195 posts were also sanctioned for upgradation of manpower and labs under the 12th five year plan. Pharmabiz