Suja Nair Shirodkar, Mumbai
The Ayurvedic Drug Manufacturers’ Association (ADMA) has taken strong exception to the anti-industry attitude of department of Ayush. In has written a letter to the department stressing that it expects the department to represent the industry rather than being biased towards it. This rebuttal comes after department of Ayush insisted that even the state government should procure medicines from the PSU undertakings since it would guarantee ‘quality formulations’.
Pramod Sharma, President, ADMA informs, “We take it as a gross error committed by the department of Ayush and the state agencies in the procuring medicines only from PSU undertakings. What is more disturbing is the fact that there is an insistence by the department of Ayush that the state agencies procuring such medicines do so from these PSU undertakings as that would guarantee ‘quality formulations’ entering the public health system.”
Sharma said that such a statement is equal to stating that the medicines from the private sector are not of standard quality. He pointed out, “The insistence of preferring PSU undertakings to the extent of keeping out the private sector certainly is not a quality driven policy. It actually seems to be a strategy followed to make these PSU’s viable as they have not been able to make a major dent in marketing their product in the open market.”
The letter states that this policy line taken by the department of Ayush is violating the policy guidelines stipulated to encourage inclusive growth for all the sections of the society and especially the micro, small and medium scale industry.
It pointed out that it is disappointment that department of Ayush even after 30 years of the central council for research in Ayurveda & Siddha (CCRAS) existence and 15 years of its own establishments has not been able to specify a basic quality norm for procurement of medicines in the public health programmes. Surely it is possible to stipulate basic quality parameters for medicines procured in the public health system.
“ASU industry has supported, facilitated and aided the formation and scope of department of Ayush and contributed to policy framework and ASU advocacy to enhance the budgetary outlay of the department consistently. However, as an association we will go to any length to safeguard revenue which is justifiably our right and we do hope that department of Ayush will support in our advocacy for a change in policy with the highest offices that need to take cognizance,” expressed Sharma.
The letter representing various Ayurveda, Siddha& Unnani (ASU) industry associations demands the department of Ayush to initiate the process on behalf of the industry to roll back the policy of excluding the ASU industry from participating in the public health schemes that procure medicines.