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States to lose power of allocating narcotic drugs quota to pharma firms

To streamline the quota allocation of narcotic drugs to pharmaceutical companies and curb the power of states in the allocation.

Written by Shruti Srivastava | New Delhi |
August 23, 2011 12:42:47 am

To streamline the quota allocation of narcotic drugs to pharmaceutical companies and curb the power of states in the allocation,the Centre has amended the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Rules. It has given the power of allocation,hitherto with state drug controllers or food and drug administrator,to the Narcotics Commissioner under the ministry of finance at the Centre.

“This will help the narcotics commissioner in directly allocating the International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) approved limit on narcotics drugs to pharma companies while the commissioner will be able to seek the details of utilisation from the company,” an official told The Indian Express.

The move comes after complaints that the quota allocating to pharma companies by many states “exceeded the quota allotted to the states itself”.

Narcotic substances like Thebaine,Opium,Codeine,Ethylmorphine,Ketobemidone,Methadone and Morphine are also used for medicinal purposes.

So far,state drug controllers allocate drug quotas to pharma companies after the INCB notifies state-wise quota to the Drug Controller General of India. The Centre could not seek information directly from the companies as the same channel was used for obtaining the information too. This led to inaccurate or delayed information thereby leading to a delay in sending estimates and reports to the INCB.

Many states were found flouting the quota limits in favour of pharma companies. To check the practice,the Centre amended the NDPS Rules,1985.

At present,Madhya Pradesh,Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh grow opium from which Morphine,Codeine,Thebaine,Noscapine and Papaverine among others are extracted.

MP grew 528 metric tons opium in 2010-11 while Rajasthan and UP grew 483 metric tons and 3 metric tons,respectively.

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