Responding to the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA)’s interference in the alleged violation of DPCO and Competition Commission Act (CC Act) by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association (TNCDA) and also by the manufacturers in Tamil Nadu, the drugs control administration (DCA) in Tamil Nadu has clarified that any person intends to become a drug trader will be given licence from the DC department.
Director of the DCA said appointment of distributorship is carried out by the manufacturing companies and it is purely for commercial purpose, the regulatory agency has no role in it. If anybody has complaint of violation of DPCO or CCI Act, he can approach the Competition Commission of India (CCI).
However, worried over the way the medicine supply chain system is maintained by manufacturers and traders in the state, M. Abdul Khader, the drugs control director has responded that the department is unable to interfere in the business dealings of the pharmaceutical traders and manufacturers because the issue is out of the purview of the drugs control administration. Further, the dispute over appointment of agents and TNCDA’s alleged insistence for their NoCs for new distributorship are handled by Competition Commission of India.
Expressing helplessness over the traders’ anti-competitive activities, Khader said if any violation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act or Rules is located anywhere, immediately legal action will be taken against the violators. Hailing NPPA for its timely intervention in the state’s issue, he said monitoring by central agencies will help streamline the supply chain and overall performance of the traders. The state regulatory body is always vigilant and duty-bound in enforcing the drug laws.
While speaking to Pharmabiz, the drugs control director said if any association has any complaint of violation of drug laws, they can lodge it with the department at any time. The director will discuss the present issue in the meeting of pharma associations soon to be held at the DC office.
When Pharmabiz sought the responses of IDMA, IPA and PMA leaders, nobody responded to the queries, but, J Jayaseelan, managing director of Delvin Pharmaceuticals, Chennai said TNCDA is not officially insisting for NoCs for new dealership, but unofficially they are doing, as he was informed.
Meanwhile, N. Anandan, office secretary of TNCDA told Pharmabiz that the chemists and druggists association in Tamil Nadu is not insisting for NoC now and such mandatory policies have been stopped by the present governing body. He said his office-bearers have explained this matter before the NPPA and the NoC authorization was made mandatory before five years, and now the situation has changed. Any person can enter into the medicine business freely now, he said. Anandan was the general secretary of TNCDA before five years and now he has been assigned to do the office administration.
The complaint against TNCDA’s alleged mandating of NoC was brought into limelight by the Kumbhakonam based Pharmacist Awareness Organization (TN PAO), a registered association of 7,000 pharmacists. Based on its complaint, NPPA has called its president, Tamil Venden, to explain the matter in the meeting held in New Delhi recently.