Himachal High Court observed that Himachal Pradesh, although a drug manufacturing hub in the country, yet lacks a mechanism to regulate the pharmaceutical companies due to vacant posts of drug inspectors in the state. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice D.C. Chaudhary, hearing a petition based on a letter written to it, expressed surprise that there were only 16 posts of drug inspectors in the state out of which seven were lying vacant.
Court has directed the state to fill the vacancies within four months and asked the principal secretary (health) to be present in the court in the next hearing April 12. The judges noted that there were only 2,000 retail and wholesale shops in the state in 2002-03 and now there were 5,484; and there were only 50 manufacturing units in 2002-03 which had increased to 702 units.
Court shocked to find that there is no corresponding increase in the staff under the drugs controller. The bench has directed the chief secretary to look into the aspect of requirement of staff, particularly drug inspectors, and submit the response of the government within three weeks.
The petitioner said the drug authorities of other states have raided the pharma units at Baddi, the hub of pharmaceutical companies in Solan district, to check manufacturing of spurious drugs. They have blacklisted the units engaged in malpractices, but the state drugs authorities have failed to do that. Citing a case, the petitioner said the directorate of revenue intelligence last October raided a unit in Baddi that was manufacturing illegal psychotropic drugs, but the local authorities had failed to monitor such illegal activities.