The Central Drug Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) has recruited 100 more drug inspectors in the last year going by its mandate to double the manpower by the end of 2017 taking the count of drug inspectors from 417 to 517.
The central drug regulator would be recruiting another 35 drug inspectors very soon, according to a senior CDSCO official.
CDSCO had earlier concluded the process of recruiting 147 drug inspectors to increase inspections of manufacturing units in line with current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP).
A total of additional 1,195 posts were sanctioned for the upgradation of manpower and labs under the 12th five year plan. Central government had allocated Rs.900 crore for enhancing manpower and capacities of mini-labs at port offices and mobile labs at CDSCO level.
To ensure quality of drugs supplied to over 200 countries from India, CDSCO is also in the process of training its drug inspectors on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and risk based assessment. Around 17 such training programmes have already been concluded in the past couple of years.
CDSCO had in the past started deputing drug inspectors as observers to carry out joint inspections on an event of inspection from an international regulator. The exercise done in coordination with state drug regulators was meant to monitor manufacturing plants on GMPs and equip drug inspectors on enforcing its compliance across the country. Following which, around 80 drug inspectors were recruited at the CDSCO in 2014.
Talking about the increasing global requirement for evolving regulatory compliance in regulated and unregulated markets, an official stressed on the need for uniformity of GMP inspections for supplying quality drugs globally.
The practice of deputing drug inspectors as observers through joint inspections has been able to help draw suggestions from global regulatory counterparts on continuing good manufacturing practices.
It will help manufacturers in adopting global practices followed in other countries where medicines manufactured in India are consumed. Similar kinds of inspections have also been carried from India to other importing countries for the sake of ensuring quality and consistency.