The pharmaceuticals industry in India is having a tough time. The Drug Controller General of India’s January deadline for mandatory skill certification of all industry personnel by the Life Sciences Sector Skill Development Council is approaching. Employees who fail to get the certification are to be axed. Pharma firms are worried about the magnitude of the task and the diktat’s disruptive potential.

Quality control is indeed an issue—but focusing on outcomes instead of micromanaging the means would be a better way to address this. This comes, of course, on the heels of the price control measures for stents and clumsy handling of the aftermath in the adjacent medical devices industry. Reportedly, interdepartmental conflict over price control measures for other medicines is contributing to the uncertainty as well.

The government is concerned about India’s reliance on Chinese imports in pharmaceuticals and wants to boost domestic production. There is cognitive dissonance when it comes to means and ends.