CDSCO’s PR: Indian drug regulator has new mission!

2 Nov

While looking for something else entirely, I stumbled upon information on the drug regulator CDSCO’s home page that appears relatively recent.  Sort of a FAQ on the authority.

In spite of cringeing at the tacky slide show that hogs most of the homepage, I was struck by some of its contents. There’s a vision statement. And a mission. And values.

The vision: To protect and promote public health in India.

The  mission:  To safeguard and enhance the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of drugs, cosmetics and medical devices.

Values : Independence, Transparency, Accountability, Punctuality, Courtesy, Responsivenes, Professionalism, Impartiality, Consistency, Integrity, Truthfulness, Flexibility. Ahem!

I’m pretty sure that Indian regulators don’t usually emblazon their raison d’etre on their home page this way. Nor for that matter do they feel compelled to wear their values on their e-sleeves.

Just to be sure I visited the websites of the Reserve Bank of India, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, and the Securities and Exchange Board of India. Apart from having FAR better-looking and user-friendly websites, the purpose of their existence was tucked away discretely in the “About us” or “History” section and limited to a line or two. There was no “vision’ anywhere. I couldn’t spot any “values” either.

But then, there’s a difference. Their mission has never been called into question the way CDSCO’s has.

Readers will recall that in May this year a committee of parliamentarians had produced a virtual indictment of India’s drug regulatory regime squarely blaming it for endangering the health of Indians with its shoddy performance.

This group had been particularly scathing about CDSCO’s mission statement  spelt out by the health ministry. I quote “to meet the aspirations…. demands and requirements of the pharmaceutical industry.” (Yes!)

This, and its revelatory findings, had prompted the committee to scathingly remark that “most of the ills besetting the system of drugs regulation in India are mainly due to the skewed priorities and perceptions of CDSCO. For decades together it has been according primacy to the propagation and facilitation of the drugs industry, due to which, unfortunately, the interest of the biggest stakeholder i.e. the consumer has never been ensured.”

Which makes me conclude that the CDSCO’s newly-minted mission statement (with vision and values to boot) is an attempt, however superficial, at correcting that impression.

The slide show is accompanied by a list of its initiatives and targets. It tells us that there are 208 vacant posts as of March 2012.  That between 2013-2020, the CDSCO will create 1195 new posts and an additional 4300 people for new labs, training academy, mobile labs etc, plans an e-governance system, set up 8 new testing laboratories and upgrade the existing 6 and so on. You can read more here.

Now there’s only the small matter of living up to these promises.

Pic sourced from cdsco.nic.in

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2 Responses to “CDSCO’s PR: Indian drug regulator has new mission!”

  1. surinder kher November 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Gauri, you are right. The CDSCO website has all that you mentioned and this came up like all other reactions that the CDSCO has been coming up with reactive guidances following parliment questions/ press statements. Immediately after the Parlimentary report came out within days the mission and vision came up. While it appears nice I hope all the CDSCO employees including officers across the country see it, understand it and actually walk the talk. I can be sure that many people within the CDSCO would not know what it practically means and how to align to these.
    Not to be too sarcastic I only hope that people especially at the senior levels go by these values. It would be a dream come true for our country

    Surinder

    Like

    • Gauri Kamath November 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      @DrSurinder : thanks for your comment. for starters, cdsco should try to match up to the performance of other Indian regulators. I admire the way the TRAI has forced telecom service providers to take cognisance of consumer complaints regarding telemarketing messages. I have tested the system with two separate providers – Vodafone and Loop Mobile – and both times, spam is down by 99 per cent!! Sebi and the RBI too are instances of a regulatory system hard at work.. CDSCO needs to learn from them – the US FDA can come later…

      Like

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