Growing dependence on bulk drugs affecting India: Minister
The Dollar Business Bureau The Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers Ananth Kumar on Wednesday called for the incentivisation of the Bulk Drugs sector so as to take on the challenges from cheap imports. Referring to the sector as a backbone of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry, the Minister said, “Over-dependence on imports from one country for bulk drugs is detrimental to the country’s interest and hence, paradigm shift is necessary.” Speaking at the launch ceremony of “2015 – Year of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients”, the Minister said that the decisions to be taken by the Ministry will make India self-sufficient in the Bulk Drugs sector. In this regard, he informed that the government has set up the Katoch Committee that would look into the challenges being faced by the Indian bulk drugs sector. The recommendations by the Committee would be implemented immediately after the Cabinet approval, the Minister added. While pointing on the government’s committed support to the bulk drugs sector, the Minister informed that the Public Sector Undertakings of the sector is on cards. While also informing that the State governments are being consulted for the setting up of Mega Pharma parks, the Ministry urged the industry to tap the skilled manpower of the sector and also asked them come up with the plans to be implemented in order to strengthen the sector. Speaking at the event, the Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said the government-industry cooperation is the need of the hour for strengthening the sector and also called for the improvement of Research and Development in the sector. Meanwhile, V K Subburaj, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, says that there is an urgent need to bring about self-sufficiency in the field of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). The Secretary further informed that the government is also taking steps to reduce dependence on imports and initiate good policy measures to support the industry. According to the Department of Pharmaceuticals, India is largely dependent on a single source for imports of basic chemicals, intermediates and APIs for many commonly used medicines. The department data says that in order to reduce the prices and supply risks associated with it, there is an immediate need for the promotion of API manufacturing in India.
This article was published on February 25, 2015.