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Banning Cocktail Drugs, Codeine-Based Syrups -- Tasks DCGI Told to Finish as Govt Extends His Tenure

By: Himani Chandna

Last Updated: August 18, 2022, 18:57 IST

New Delhi, India

VG Somani’s term was set to end on August 14, 2022. He played a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic in approving vaccines and other lifesaving drugs. (Photo: ANI)

VG Somani’s term was set to end on August 14, 2022. He played a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic in approving vaccines and other lifesaving drugs. (Photo: ANI)

The health ministry has asked VG Somani to complete two tasks -- banning irrational cocktail drugs and codeine-based medicines in a phased manner -- in the coming months. Meanwhile, the government is looking for a new candidate for the post of DCGI

With two major tasks at hand, the Centre has extended the tenure of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) VG Somani by three months, News18 has learnt.

Somani’s term was set to end on August 14, 2022. He played a key role during the Covid-19 pandemic in approving vaccines and other lifesaving drugs.

In a formal, congratulatory call given by the top official of the health ministry, Somani has been asked to complete two projects in the coming months — banning irrational cocktail drugs and codeine-based medicines in a phased manner.

“He has been asked to provide a detailed plan on phasing out codeine-based medicines from the market so that there is no dearth of medicines for the needy,” said a senior official privy to the development.

“The second task given to him is to ban the irrational cocktail drugs which are also called fixed dose combinations (FDCs),” the senior official further said.

News18.com has covered the issue of banning irrational FDCs and the discussion on phasing-out of codeine-based syrups.

Meanwhile, the Union government is looking for a new candidate for the post of DCGI. The role of DCGI is to ensure the quality of drugs and cosmetics sold in the country, grant approval for new drugs and regulate clinical trials.

The health ministry in an official order said, “It has been decided with the approval of the competent authority that Dr VG Somani, shall continue to hold the charge of the post of Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) under FR 49(v) for a period of three months w.e.f.16.8.2022 or until further order, whichever is earlier.”

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first published:August 18, 2022, 18:49 IST
last updated:August 18, 2022, 18:57 IST