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DCGI gets second 3-month extension

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The Drug Controller General of India, Dr VG Somani, will continue to hold the post for another three months, according to an official communication. This will be his second extension, since the last one in August.

The extension comes into effect from today (November 16, 2022) for three months or until the next announcement is made, the communication said.

The development comes even as the DCGI’s office has at its doorstep issues including quality concerns involving coughs syrups made by Sonepat-based Maiden Pharma. This had come up internationally, following an announcement by the World Health Organization’s chief on the death of 66 children in Gambia, potentially linked to the cough syrups made by the Indian company.

Dr Somani was appointed to his post for a three-year term in August 2019. This was extended by three months (from August 16, 2022).

The second extension comes against the backdrop of the recent arrest of a top drug regulatory official on charges of alleged corruption. In June this year, the joint drug controller was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation, along with top executives of three companies, on allegations of money having passed hands to waive a late phase clinical trial on an insulin product.

Ever since the pandemic was declared in early 2020, the DCGI has been in the thick of action, assessing and giving emergency approvals to vaccines, anti-virals and diagnostics kits.



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