Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 would be implemented strictly as a deterrent to those indulging in the manufacture and sale of spurious drugs, Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has said. Designated special courts would also be set up for trial of offences under this Act, he added.Inaugurating the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) Bhavan , Azad said that to begin with, special courts would be set up in cities and districts where there is a concentration of drugs and pharmaceutical industries.
Some of the major penal provisions of the Act are:
Maximum penalty has been enhanced to life imprisonment for manufacturing and selling spurious drugs, fine has been enhanced to Rs 10 lakh or three times the value of the spurious drugs confiscated, whichever is more; some offences have been made cognisable and non-bailable, setting up specially designated courts for speedy trial has been incorporated and there is a provision for awarding compensation to the victims' kin.
He said the registration of cosmetics in the country was recently introduced and it would be effective from April this year to ensure the quality and safety of imported cosmetics. Monitoring of clinical trials has been strengthened by making registration of clinical tests on the ICMR website mandatory. Guidelines were framed for registration of clinical research organisations, ethic committees and clinical trials sites.
A national pharma vigilance programme has been initiated in 2010 and it is hoped that it would effectively take care of the adverse drug reaction issues. He lamented that some unscrupulous drug manufacturers were producing and marketing spurious drugs, thereby spoiling not only the name of the pharma industry but also causing great harm to country's image globally.