With a view to speed up the analytical testing of samples collected by drug inspectors from various manufacturing companies and traders’ premises, the Drugs Control Department in Chennai has given a proposal to the state government for setting up a new drug testing laboratory in Madurai.
The proposal also wants the government to seek funds from the Centre to proceed for the project without much delay. The total cost of the new lab is estimated at Rs.30 crore.
A Abdul Khader, director of drugs control, said the new laboratory would benefit the industry and traders covering 18 districts in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. He said if the central fund is allotted on time, the new lab would happen within two years.
The department further wanted the government to upgrade the existing lab in Chennai with sophisticated machinery in order to increase the quantum of samples tested every month. However, it is learnt that the Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation (TNMSC) has ordered instruments worth about Rs.14 crore to strengthen and increase the capacity of the Chennai lab.
“We have no latest equipment in our laboratory. We need a set of additional modern apparatus to speed up our testing capacity. The present capacity is 5000 samples which will be increased to 12000 after modernization. The department, through TNMSC, has earlier placed orders for 10 High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC), Mass Spectrometry (MS) and other state of the art apparatuses required for a sophisticated lab,” said the DC.
He said the lab will be equipped with the most modern technologies and it will become one of the biggest drug testing labs in the country. The total number of analysts was increased to 51 last year by appointing 33 junior analysts. The increased manpower will help speed up the testing analysis in the laboratory and reduce the delay in releasing the result. The number of field staff has been increased to 135.