Secretary of the pharmaceutical panel appoints New DCGI

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet appointed Rajeev Raghuvanshi as the new drugs controller general of India (DCGI) on Wednesday, putting an end to the six-month-long speculation regarding the next head of the central drugs standard control organisation (CDSCO) and bypassing at least two strong candidates for the key post.

Formerly, Raghuvanshi served as the secretary-combined-scientific director of the Indian Pharmacopea Commission, a ministry-independent entity. IPC was formed to establish national drug standards. Its primary duty is to continuously update the standards of pharmaceuticals typically required to treat prevalent ailments in this region.

Last month, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) examined candidates for the position and recommended his name to the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet and the Union health ministry.

He succeeds VG Somani, who was considered the frontrunner for the position of chief pharmaceuticals regulator in India.

Somani was granted two extensions after his official tenure ended in August 2022. The first extension was granted in the month of August 2022, and the second extension began on November 16, 2022.

According to some with knowledge of the situation, there was chatter that Somani might be given a second term; the rules permit reappointment of the incumbent head of regulatory affairs.

On August 14, 2019, Somani was appointed DCGI for a tenure of three years.

“Initially, it was anticipated that the current medicines controller would receive a second term, but once applications were solicited and the UPSC began vetting candidates, it became clear that he may not be reinstated,” claimed one of these individuals.

S Eswara Reddy, who is currently employed as a trainer on medicines regulatory laws at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, was also a strong contender for the top position.

Reddy was transferred from CDSCO following his arrest for bribery in June of last year. The health ministry suspended him in July, but the suspension was lifted in December after a court granted him bail in the case.

According to those with knowledge of the situation, Reddy’s chances of becoming the next DCGI plummeted after the case, which Reddy has long maintained was a plot to destroy his name.

The drugs controller general of India is in charge of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), which is in charge of guaranteeing the quality of the drug supply throughout the country. In addition, the FDA has the power to approve new pharmaceuticals and regulate clinical trials.

In February of last year, the government solicited fresh candidates for the position of CDSCO director.

Raghuvanshi’s appointment will last until he reaches the age of retirement on February 28, 2025, or until additional directives are issued, whichever comes first.

Raghuvanshi is a graduate of IIT-BHU (previously IT-BHU) in Varanasi and holds a doctorate from the National Institute of Immunology in New Delhi. After working at the National Institute of Immunology for seven years, he joined Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. After twelve years at Ranbaxy Laboratories, he moved to Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd in Hyderabad, where he worked for eleven years.

He and his staff are currently selling at least 200 items in India, the United States, Europe, and emerging nations. Raghuvanshi holds fourteen U.S. patents.

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