IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao urged the Centre to establish a Vaccine Testing and Certification Laboratory at Genome Valley in Hyderabad on the lines of Central Drug Laboratory at Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. He also sought a Government Medical Store Depot (GMSD) to be set up in Genome Valley, in order to strengthen the vaccine manufacturing industry in Hyderabad that would be beneficial to the entire nation.

In his letter to Union Health and Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, Rama Rao said Hyderabad is known as the ‘vaccine capital of the world’ with more than six billion doses being manufactured every year and contributing to about one-third of the global vaccine output. He stated that the recent visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also the delegation of 80 foreign ambassadors to Genome Valley to elicit the status of COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing, serves as testimony to Hyderabad’s leadership position in vaccine development and manufacturing.

Citing his earlier request, the Minister said the vaccines manufactured in Hyderabad were being sent to the Central Drug Laboratory in Kasauli for testing and certification. He asserted that the logistics and the time involved were constraining the industry in being a more effective and competitive destination. 

He pointed out that the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) was establishing the country’s largest National Animal Resource facility for biomedical research in Genome Valley where the State Government has provided the required land for the project at free of cost and facilitating its establishment.

“I am happy to note that this facility already has a mandate of testing and certifying the drug including vaccines, medical devices and to certify them on behalf of the Union government. I would like to request that the establishment of this facility be expedited, and this institution is strengthened further to conduct testing and pre-release certification of Immuno biologicals meant for human use in India,” he added.

Rama Rao also stated that establishing a Government Medical Store Depot (GMSD) facility of the Central government in Hyderabad with state-of-the-art data monitoring and tracking system, would go a long way in supporting the vaccine manufacturing efforts in the country. Currently, such facilities are only available in Karnal, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata.

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