Technology for efficiency
Dr Akun Sabharwal, Director, Drugs Control Administration, Government of Telangana Telengana has 490 big manufactures and around 28,000 pharmaceutical shops. We have shifted to online licensing. It might appear strange to the IT world, but most of the pharmaceutical regulations still happen on paper and pen. We have also done flow charting and time-lining. In Telengana, now we assure that if you want to set up an industry, we will give you the licence in 30 days. There is also a penalty clause â€“ if the file is stuck at any level, there is a penalty of Rs 1,250 per day beyond 30 days, so the employee concerned has to pay from his pocket. We achieve it through barcoding and file tracking system. The entire process is on website now for manufacturers and pharmacy shops. Across the country regulations happens in terms of areas, we have shifted from that approach to something called the verticals. We have specialised teams looking after cosmetics, vaccines etc. The US is the only other country that does it. Generally, drug inspectors pick up samples randomly from the field and send it to laboratories for checking. What happens there is that pharmaceutical companies grease their palm and ensure that the samples are changed. But we get the samples picked up and do their barcoding. The medicine is couriered to the lab, where nobody knows from where the sample has come.