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U.S. to help India upgrade drugs to FDA standards

Sridhar Krishnaswami

WASHINGTON: The United States will help India upgrade its drugs to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards so that these can be sold in the U.S.

The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and the acting FDA Commissioner gave this assurance to the visiting Union Health Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss.

"The FDA has promised to help set American standards in a host of fields," the Minister told reporters at a luncheon meeting here. These included drugs, cosmetics, medical equipment and diagnostics. The FDA tie-up would mean more quality-oriented programmes. India would set up a National Drug Authority. It would be more on the lines of the independent telecom authority "to make it more quality-oriented."

India wanted to be a major hub in stem cell research even while keeping in mind ethical sensitivities. "We are trying to get our own cell lines."

The Minister, on an 11-day trip, will attend a HIV-AIDS meet at the United Nations and hold discussions with senior administration officials, participate in meetings at the Centre for Disease Control in Atlanta, visit the California Stem Cell Research Centre, and also meet Nobel Laureate Michael Bishop.

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