Govt taking measures to ramp up drug production: Official

New Delhi (IANS) The Central government is pro-actively working to speed up the production of essential medicines to avoid any drug crisis-like situation during the nationwide lockdown owing to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has claimed over 390 lives in the country so far, an official said.

According to an official, the process of manufacturing drugs has been made easier. For this, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has amended the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 following which all projects of drugs manufactured for the treatment of all diseases have been re-classified from the existing 'A' category to 'B2' category.

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Projects falling in the 'B2' category have been exempted from the collection of baseline data, environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies and the need for public consultation.

This will now allow them to be evaluated at the state level which will accelerate the manufacturing as well as production of medicines.

The government has taken this step with the objective of increasing the availability of essential medicines in the country.

This amendment is applicable to all proposals received by September 30, 2020. The states have also been directed to increase such proposals at a fast pace.

Sources in the ministry said that within about two weeks, more than 100 proposals have been received within this category, which are to be decided by the authorities concerned.

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