NPPA to use technology to control supply

NEW DELHI: To ensure a smooth supply of antimalarial drugs, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) is developing an information technology-driven platform to monitor the availability of the drug during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The move comes in the wake of a severe shortage of the drug at the retail level due to supply disruption and the initial panic purchase.

The IT platform will allow stockists, distributors and retailers to update the information in real time on the portal and will help the government and companies coordinate supplies, an official said.

All drug sellers are asked to first register on the platform to create master data and then upload details. It is to ensure the availability of these drugs to all people in need, a message from the drug controller's office to those involved in the supply chain said. TOI has reviewed the message. Executives from the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the retail association, said the shortage was mainly due to the panic purchase that occurred immediately after the government approved the use of this drug for Covid-19.