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Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Rs 1000-crore ayurveda industry in Kerala is in total disarray, thanks largely to the egoistic attitude of the state government which has refused to reinstate Dr. N Vimala as State Licensing Authority (SLA) for Ayush even after a ruling in her favour by the State Administrative Tribunal. Following a tussle between them, the state government had removed Dr. Vimala from the post of SLA for Ayush on May 12, 2017 and since then the crucial post has been lying vacant. In the absence of a Licensing Authority, the process of renewal and fresh licensing of ayurvedic products has come to a standstill in the state. More than 600 ayurveda drug manufacturers in the state have not been getting licences of renewal and fresh licences for proprietary and classical drugs. Several companies have obtained licences from neighbouring states like Karnataka and continue production of drugs as loan licencees for their survival. The delay in the appointment of SLA for Ayush has compounded the problems being faced by the Ayush industry in the state during the last one year. The situation has led more than 600 big and small manufacturing units into operational crisis, while north Indian companies are making attempts to dominate the traditional drug market in Kerala. Now, the situation has come to such a pass that irked by the reluctance of the state government to appoint an SLA, the ayurveda drug manufacturers in the state are contemplating to shut down their production units indefinitely from next month. Besides, a prominent industry association like the Ayurveda Medicine Manufacturers’ Organization of India has called upon its members to boycott the four-day exhibition-cum-seminar event 'International Ayush Conclave' to be organized by the state government in the second week of May in Kochi in protest against the state government's apathy in taking necessary steps to solve the problems being faced by the industry due to the delay in appointing an SLA.
The present crisis in the ayurveda industry in the state started on May 12 last year when the state government removed Dr. Vimala from the post of SLA and the charge of the administration of the Ayurveda drugs control wing was given to the state drugs controller for allopathy. But the allopathy drugs controller did not have the authority to issue licences for ayurvedic products. Later, on a direction from the State Administrative Tribunal, the state Department of Health issued a special order on September 29, appointing a senior drug inspector Smart P John as the new SLA for Ayush. Against this interim appointment, Dr Vimala approached the High Court arguing that since a case filed by her is pending with the SAT, the interim order of the government should be nullified. When the High Court asked the government for explanation, the state health secretary hurriedly withdrew his order appointing Smart John as SLA for Ayush. On January 16 this year, the SAT issued another order in the case directing the state government to allow Dr Vimala to continue as SLA till fresh appointment is made on the basis of new rules. The SAT order was also upheld by the High Court later. However, the government is still reluctant to appoint Dr Vimala as SLA, leaving the ayurvedic industry in the lurch. The government should not be blinded by its ego in its turf battle with an official, as it is adversely affecting the entire Ayurveda industry in the state. As Kerala is home to ayurveda system of medicine with large number of big and small players, the government should not waste further time in shedding its ego and appoint a new SLA for Ayush.


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pradeep awasthi Apr 24, 2018 11:09 AM
Its being high degree of agitation expressed by State government in responding the issue of Dr N.Vimala,who was former S.L.A of kerala which stands to be dominant state in ayurveda drugs with volume of Rs 1000 crore.Though its still being a unfold story regarding such a harsening decision of government,which had resulted in recession for the ayurveda drug makers and also laid to stage of shutting down of manufacturing of new formulation,because of non-available of S.L.A which can endorse new drugs and also renewal of licensing to continue their network.

Though there are temporary clue of appointing S.L.A,where directed by state health authorities in form of appointing senior drug inspector as S.L.A,but that has been adjourned by high court on account of counter regulatory actions of N.Vimala whose case is still pending with high court. Therefore till date today,the entire issue is kept on hold by high couurt,due to unknown reason and arrogant attitude of high court.The n
pradeep awasthi Apr 23, 2018 10:04 PM
The most burning issue,which has disrupted the harmony of ayurveda drug manufacturers in a state of kerela,is the admonition of state government in re appointing V.Nirmala as S.L.A.This issue has adversely affected 600 drug manufacturers and detained them from getting their license renewal or issuing licence for new drugs manufacturers.

The Conditions has become worrisome for drug manufacturers,due to absence of S.L.A,who can mobilise the process of licensing and reconstitute the normalcy.This has laid to a situation of shutting down the drug manufacturers their network.Though State government has attempted positively to substitute S.L.A,but high court has cancelled the decision on account of V.Nirmala's pending application for same issue.Therefore high court is unable to take decision in this complex matter,where only supreme Court is the final authority to materialise and decide of appointing S.L.A.
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