UP FDA Orders Inspection At Pharmacy Outlets Run Under PMBJP Scheme

Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh’s health regulatory agency has ordered an inspection at all pharmacy outlets run under the central government’s affordable medicine scheme, Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), News18 has learnt.

While the letter written by the state’s drug regulatory agency hinted at quality concerns, the top official explained that the state regulator suspects that the sellers are promoting branded medicines at the stores — defeating the purpose of the scheme to promote the use of “generic medicines” which are about fifty per cent cheaper.

According to the letter written by UP’s Food and Drug Administration cell, all drug inspectors in the state have been ordered to inspect the premises under the scheme.

On June 14, the letter said that in a meeting of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council – on the prevention of health problems due to adulteration of food items and circulation of spurious drugs – the decision was taken to inspect all Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras operating in the state.

Titled “In relation to the inspection of Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras operating in the state”, the letter directs officials to submit the report within a week.

“…you are directed to inspect all the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Kendras operating in your respective areas within a week and make sure to provide the inspection report to the concerned drug licensing authority and inform the action taken to this office as well,” said the letter dated June 15.

While the letter, accessed by News18, gives a hint about testing the medicines for checking the quality of products, the states’ drug controller informed that the investigation has been ordered to identify the store operators who have been selling branded medicines at these generic medicine shops.

“We have been informed that many shops – run under the scheme – are selling other branded medicines also. This defeats the purpose of Jan Aushadhi Kendras,” SK Chaurasia, drug regulator, Uttar Pradesh, told News18. “While currently, the orders do not include sampling and testing of drugs, however, if needed, we will pick samples also.”

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