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India to double drug regulator’s staffing, test drugs at ports

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-05-2014 Ketaki Gokhale

Mumbai: India plans to double its number of drug regulatory staff in three years and set up labs at ports to test the quality of exports.

The government will spend more than Rs3,000 crore ($510 million) in the next three years to increase regulatory capacity at the federal and state levels, according to an e-mailed statement from India’s Press Information Bureau on Wednesday.

The move comes after US regulators placed import bans on Indian drugmakers including Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd and Wockhardt Ltd. US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg met with Indian government officials and drug company executives in February and said the agency would expand its local offices, train Indian officials and step up inspections of overseas plants.

The number of federal Indian regulatory staffers will be doubled to 1,000 and as many as 3,000 workers will be hired across the state agencies, according to the statement.

The government will show zero tolerance, Sudhanshu Pandey, joint secretary in the commerce ministry, said in the statement. BLOOMBERG

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