The Union finance ministry has approved a gross budgetary support of Rs. 1750 crore to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), under the 12th Five Year Plan, for strengthening the drug regulatory system across the country.
Under this budget that was sanctioned last month by the Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) of the finance ministry, Rs. 900 crore will be ustilised for the strengthening of the CDSCO alone, whereas the rest of the Rs. 850 crore will be exclusively used to focus on the development and reinforcement of the state regulatory bodies across the country.
Interestingly, this is for the first time that such a sizable amount has been allotted for the purpose of boosting the infrastructural and manpower needs of the state drug departments.
The funds will be strategically used to help the centre and state drug regulatory departments in their capacity building measures, like construction of new drug and food testing laboratories, expansion of the existing facilities, hiring manpower, etc. A highly placed source from the CDSCO informed that considering the centre’s commitment to bring in better transparency and ensure efficient delivery of services, Rs. 184 crore will be specifically dedicated to focus on developing national e-governance programme in the drug regulatory body across the country. The programme will basically focus on developing and building a strong network that will link the CDSCO and state laboratories for efficient services.
According to the source, this is a unique scheme that the CDSCO has introduced under the five year plan to address the requirements of the state drug regulatory departments by extending them with financial support to bear the expenditure. It is understood that 75 per cent of the total expenditure of the projects undertaken by the state drug regulatory departments will be borne by the centre, whereas 25 will have to be borne by the state governments. However, considering the financial constraints of the state governments in addressing the demands of the drug regulatory departments in the North East (NE) region of the country, the CDSCO has decided to provide 90 per cent financial aid to them, with just 10 per cent investment to be chipped in by the state.
It is understood that the budget sanctioned under the National Health Mission (NHM) aims at integrating the demands and the requirements of the state drug regulatory body as well, so as to bring them also under the inclusive growth and development plan of the CDSCO.