As part of Consumer Awareness for dissemination of information regarding drug pricing and availability and also to create an online facility for logging complaints with NPPA on the above issues, a scheme for setting up internet based centre for information, facilitation and grievances has been started in consultation with NIC. The objective is to disseminate information on the availability and the notified price of Scheduled Drugs & Formulations and to create consumer awareness and facilitate speedy Complaint Redressal on :-
Ø Overcharging in [prices of] Scheduled Formulations.
Ø Non Availability or shortage of any medicine.
Ø Sale of Scheduled Formulations without prior price approval of NPPA.
Any individual or organization may lodge complaint through Internet directly to NPPA. Action on any complaint received with required information to be initiated within 30 days by NPPA.
NPPA-CIFG are being set up on pilot basis initially in 5 states namely, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bihar, West Bengal & Gujarat. These centres are proposed to be run by a local NGO recommended by the State Government. The NGO are required to provide space for the NPPA-CIFG in a prominent location, easily accessible to people in the selected city. The NGOs are being given the permission to run this centre initially for a period of 3 years. They are required furnish through the State Government to NPPA an agreement in prescribed form for running and operating the centre. The NGOs have also to execute indemnity bonds in respect of the hardware and software to be provided under the scheme to them by NPPA through the State Government. Following hardware & software are being provided :
Ø Desktop Computer;
Ø Laser Printer;
Ø MS Office software;
Ø Software on Online Complaint Submission & Redressal System; and
Ø Internet Connectivity.
NPPA-CIFG is being funded by NPPA for hardware, software and connectivity and the Project is implemented by NIC. The NPPA-CIFG will be run and operated by NGO selected by the State Govt.
NPPA has already extended the facility of online complaint redressal by providing connectivity with 555 CICs in North East States and 135 CICs in J & K. This scheme has also been linked to 10 centres in various Government Buildings in New Delhi.