The National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) to increase athletes' awareness about drugs.

“This memorandum is essentially meant to provide a convenient option for Indian athletes to know whether any drug sold in the Indian market contains any prohibited substance as per the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code,” said a NADA release.

“The system is expected to be in place in another three months. Thereafter, typing the brand name of any medicine in the website or app will indicate whether that medicine or drug is prohibited or not as per the anti-doping code.”

NADA found that the Indian athletes always faced difficulty in understanding which drugs are prohibited for them.

“Even generic names of several prohibited substances could not be deciphered easily by the doctors of the athletes. NADA had been working towards finding out a solution to this problem so that whenever any athlete falls sick and is prescribed medicines, he or she should know whether these can be taken safely or require therapeutic use exemption,” it said.

NADA Director General Navin Agarwal said since the list of prohibited medicines was too long the joint effort would provide a solution. “There are 300 plus generic names which are prohibited. For example, in the case of football goalkeeper Subrata Paul, the team doctor prescribed a medicine for his throat problem but it contained a prohibited substance.

“This mechanism will display whether a particular drug is safe or prohibited.”

Asked how the NPPA would contribute in this, Agarwal said, “They have the list of all the drugs that are available in the market and the information of the components they contain. Then we have to give our inputs and both systems have to be integrated to prepare the mechanism.”