Drugs Current Affairs - 2019
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The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has extended the Anti-Narcotics Scheme for 3 more years to combat illicit trafficking in drugs and psychotropic substances.
The scheme was first launched in October 2004 for period of five years. It was later extended twice in subsequent years. It aims to assist states and Union Territories financially which are contributing in controlling inter-state and cross-border drug trafficking. The main strategy under the scheme includes reduction of both supply and demand of drugs and psychotropic substances. The supply reduction will include enforcement activities and demand reduction will involve rehabilitation and de-addiction measures.
The financial assistance for narcotics control has been extended, with an estimated budget of Rs. 21 crore. It will be provided to all anti-narcotics agencies for strengthening their enforcement capabilities to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. It is also proposed to be provided for all capacity building activities, including training of personnel.
There are approximately 40 lakh drug addicts in the country. The most common drugs of abuse are ganja, hashish, opium and heroin. Moreover there is serious abuse of pharmaceutical preparations like ‘buprenorphine’, codeine based cough syrups and painkillers like ‘proxivon’. In certain regions of country, drug abuse already has become severe social-economic problem affecting vulnerable age groups.
The Union Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has constituted a committee of joint secretaries for ensuring enhanced affordability, availability and accessibility of drugs for the citizens.
The committee will suggest ways to make pricing policy in favour of poor patients.
Terms of reference of the committee
The committee will review the scope of Drugs (Price Control) Order 2013 (DPCO 2013) and suggest ways for strengthening the regulatory provisions of the order. It will also suggest ways to make DPCO 2013 more comprehensive in light of past experience of implementing the order.
It will also delve into making the existing mechanism for collection of market based data on prices of medicines more robust. It will also suggest ways for strengthening the existing pharmaceutical database management system.
It will also look at procedural improvements and process of re-engineering in National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to ensure better and quicker implementation of the government policy and bring greater transparency to reduce litigations and review petitions.