New Delhi, March 12: The government may establish a separate Ministry for the pharmaceuticals sector, which would comprise all departments that deal with issues related to the industry.
"For the benefit of end user, the customer and considering the size of industry... there should be a separate Pharma Ministry. "Therefore, I, along with Minister of State Hansraj Ahir, will approach Prime Minister and request him to look into this matter," Fertiliser Minister Ananth Kumar said on Thursday.
At present, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and Drug Controller General of India (DGCI), which deal in regulatory control over the import of drugs, approval of new drugs and clinical trials, are governed by Health Ministry.
Whereas, National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA), which sets the price limit on essential medicines, comes under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.
"There is a view that this new Pharma Ministry makes sense if (CDSCO), Drug Controller General of India (DGCI) and National Pharma Pricing Authority (NPPA) could (be) brought together under one Ministry," a source said.
The source added that the government is also considering to set up a separate body or department for medical devices which, if established, can also be brought under this Ministry.
The Minister said that the separate Ministry should work as both facilitator as well as regulator for the sector.
According to sources, the government is contemplating that besides patents, licensing, pricing and all other pharma related departments can be brought under one roof. Kumar added that the entire pharma sector, which at present is worth Rs 1.8 lakh crore, is based on three pillars - quality, availability and affordability of medicines.
Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, Minister of State for Fertiliser Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said the government is working overtime to ensure the availability of medicines at affordable prices.