India considers drug testing labs in each state

India may house drug testing laboratories in each state under an INR17.5 billion ($270 million) plan to shore up quality.

The Indian Express newspaper said the aim is to have at least one dedicated drug testing laboratory in every state, with 10 states currently not equipped with any testing services for drugs, including the capital New Delhi and the heavily populated state of West Bengal. The state does have a referral laboratory but no testing facilities.

In August, India approved the spending to upgrade its federal and state drug regulation system with approval from the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs.

The funds, to be spent over three years on items such as new laboratories and a training academy for regulatory and drug testing officials, are seen as crucial to fixing quality issues that have bedeviled manufacturers and testing firms.

"The total budget for revamp of the entire drug regulation machinery is (INR17.5 billion) and we are hoping to sign MoUs with all states by the end of this financial year. We have prepared an indicative list of equipment, manpower and space, etc. required for different levels of laboratories. We will pay for the physical infrastructure, states will have to ensure there is adequate manpower," a senior government official told the newspaper.

The federal government also plans a revamped national drug regulation system, though details remain in the works, including a possible new ministry.

Also in August, plans pushed by the device industry were made for a lab dedicated to biocompatibility and medical device testing to be based in India's western Gujarat state, a manufacturing hub.

Companies that manufacture in the state see the lab as a crucial component for quality checks that would aid business with the Commerce Ministry based Engineering Export Promotion Council urging state officials to allocate funds for the project, Pharmabiz said.

- here's the story from the Indian Express