Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940

Introduction

There is no denying that India is one of the most significant players in the global pharmaceuticals space, especially in the generic and affordable vaccines segment. Emerging markets such as India are expected to become further crucial in the foreseeable future, given the global supply chain disruptions and discontinuities. Fifty percent of the global demand for various vaccines is met by the Indian pharmaceuticals industry and as per the Indian Economic Survey 2021, the domestic market is expected to grow 3x in the next decade. It is expected to develop at an annual rate of 11% over the next two years, possibly exceeding $60 billion in value.[1] India’s healthcare market is expected to reach $372 billion, driven by rising income, better health awareness and increasing access to insurance. India’s healthcare public expenditure stood at 2.1% of GDP in 2021-22 against 1.8% in 2020-21. Furthermore, in Union Budget 2022-23, Rs 86,200.65 crore ($11.28 billion) was allocated to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).Continue Reading Examining the Regulatory and Operational Issues Affecting M&A in Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare Industry

Digital Healthcare

The development in science and technology has scaled multiple heights and reached unprecedented levels of sophistication. Advanced methods are being used in all branches of research and technology, including medical diagnosis. Given that diagnosis is done either voluntarily or pursuant to a prescription, the field of medical testing is broad and encompasses a variety of situations. The process of diagnosis depends upon a range of variables, which includes diversified procedures, competent personnel, functional instruments, suitable facility or lab, reagent, etc. Each factor is as important as the other. Further, medical devices include a gamut of instruments ranging from a miniscule syringe used to collect blood samples, to sophisticated CT scanners. Both have the capacity to grossly impact a diagnosis. Hence, arises the need to minimise the variables and ensure uniformity in quality and standards. And, while the monitoring of medical devices, facilities and competent personnel are largely regulated, it is important to ensure that the diagnostic procedures are standardised.Continue Reading Evolving Landscape of Diagnostics’ Regulation in India & Digital Healthcare

COVID-19 TEST KITS. A CHEAT SHEET

The COVID-19 pandemic has literally brought the world to a standstill. Large scale infections have resulted in lockdowns across the globe. At this critical juncture, testing continues to remain the most important step to get a grip over the situation. The situation in India is no different. With an upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases in India, the need for largesse testing has become paramount. Low availability of test kits remains a cause of great concern to the government and healthcare practitioners. This is compounded by our massive populace, given the quantity that is required in the current scenario. This lack of availability of test kits is primarily because India does not have adequate indigenous manufacturing units of COVID-19 test kits and relies heavily on imported kits.

From a regulatory standpoint, such kits fall under the category of ‘in-vitro diagnostic’ kits under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (D&C Act) read with the Medical Devices Rules, 2017 (MD Rules) and are regulated as ‘medical devices’[1].
Continue Reading COVID-19 Test Kits. A Cheat Sheet

NCOVID-19: From detection to a cure, A regulatory overview

COVID-19 is the latest pandemic after cholera, the bubonic plague, smallpox, NIPAH, ZIKA and influenza-SARS, etc., to have accosted the world. A more aggressive variant of human coronaviruses that cause upper-respiratory tract illnesses, COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that had hitherto not been seen in humans. The virus, having originated in China, has crossed borders and resulted in global lockdown. The race to find speedy detection and cure has begun at a feverish pace. Meanwhile, more than 300 Indians have already been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. Six have succumbed to the disease.
Continue Reading NCOVID-19: From detection to a cure. A regulatory overview

Gujarat - A Re-emerging Pharma Destination

Gujarat has been the flag bearer of India’s pharmaceutical industry since the establishment of the country’s second oldest drug company, the Alembic Chemical Works Company Limited in Vadodara in 1907. Gujarat’s strategic location on the western coast, coupled with dynamic entrepreneurial talent and favourable policies from the State Government has led it to become one of the premiere industrial hubs for investors looking to invest in India.

Gujarat currently has 33 percent of the aggregate share of the pharmaceutical industry in India[1] and the State also accounts for at least 28 percent of the pharmaceutical exports from India[2]. Moreover, with the advent of the Goods and Service Tax (GST) coupled with the upcoming expiry of tax holidays granted by some northern states of India, the pharmaceutical industry is witnessing a jurisdictional shift, with some of the largest pharmaceutical companies looking to relocate or establish their manufacturing plants in Gujarat.
Continue Reading Gujarat – A Re-emerging Pharma Destination?

New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 – A Regulatory Overview India 

Issues around payment of compensation in cases of clinical trial related injury, disability and death have long remained open. Despite a directive from the Hon’ble Apex Court, much was left open to question. On March 19 of this year, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) eventually took steps in this regard and notified the New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 (NDCT Rules) under the aegis of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (D&C Act), thus bringing an end to a long-drawn-out process to codify the rules applicable to clinical trials.
Continue Reading New Drugs and Clinical Trials Rules, 2019 – A Regulatory Overview

Ban on advertising of Ayurvedic drugs

The Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) vide notification G.S.R. 1230(E) on December 21, 2018 has notified the Drugs and Cosmetics (Eleventh Amendment) Rules, 2018 (Amendment) ,which was subsequently published on December 24, 2018[1]. This Amendment seeks to regulate advertisements of Ayurvedic, Unani and Siddha drugs (ASU Drugs) in an attempt to curb misleading advertisements.

This step has been taken in light of the government’s reaction to the recent increase in the number of misleading advertisements relating to ASU Drugs. In 2017, the Ministry of AYUSH stated that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulatory organisation for the advertising industry, to monitor misleading advertisements being published in print and TV media.[2]
Continue Reading You shall not pass! A look at the Recent Ban on Advertising of Ayurvedic drugs

Online Pharmacy Regulations in India

The Indian Pharmaceutical industry is in its prime phase of growth today at 11-12% per year. While exports occupy a huge chunk, the country meets nearly 95% of its own domestic demands through indigenous production and the domestic retail market is growing by leaps and bounds.

Sale of drugs in India is currently governed by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 (D&C Act) and the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945 (D&C Rules). At present, the law permits sale of drugs through brick-and-mortar pharmacies only. The law as it currently stands is somewhat out of tune with the times in that it is still to catch up with the concept of online sales of drugs.
Continue Reading Medicines in Your Mail: The India Regulatory Story