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Pharmexcil to explore export promotion opportunities for pharma exporters by holding B2B and BSM meets

Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

S_V_Veerramani.jpgAs the Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations began to decline globally, the venues for trade fairs and exhibitions have started to reopen. In India, the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil), the apex organisation under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to promote exports of pharmaceuticals and neutraceuticals, is pondering over resuming exhibitions, physical B2B and BSM meets between Indian and overseas importers very shortly. Recently, Pharmexcil has elected S V Veeramani, the pharma industry stalwart and former president of Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) as the vice-president of the Council. He speaks to Peethaambaran Kunnathoor about the future plans of Pharmexcil in exploring export promotion opportunities for pharmaceutical exporters of the country. Excerpts:

What are your plans to generate new export opportunities for small, medium and large scale industry exporters of pharma in India?
Pharmexcil has small, medium and large industry exporters as well as merchant exporters. It will be our endeavour to support all the groups for the benefit of the nation and for the exports. We will showcase the large exporters to the international community in order to build our image and performance, and in the same way we will support the small and medium scale shippers and the merchant exporters by organizing seminars, open-house sessions and buyer-seller meets. Pharmexcil will also help them get their incentives and remove all bottlenecks or procedural hurdles. Besides, we will try to arrange international regulators meetings to discuss on regulatory issues and approvals.

As the vice chairman of the Pharmexcil what steps will you take to speed up reimbursement of product registration fees paid by the exporters?
The Ministry of Commerce has introduced the export promotion scheme, MAI (Market Access Initiative), to promote the country’s exports, and the scheme reimburses the expenditure incurred by the exporters. It includes product registration cost and the facility inspection fees and BA/BE study expenses.  Recently, the government has reduced the period for submission of applications to Pharmexcil from 90 days to 45 days, which is inadequate. So, Pharmexcil plans to put up one strong representation to the government to restore the 90 days.

It is learnt that there are vacancies of directors inbranch offices of Pharmexcil in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi and also headquarters office in Hyderabad.  Why the Council is not taking any step to fill up them?
We will be filling up the vacancies of Directors in Mumbai and Delhi branches shortly. As regards Chennai and Bengaluru, they are coordinated by the headquarter office.
What steps will Pharmexcil take to increase exports of Indian made formulations to regulated markets like European Union?
Already Pharmexcil is supporting exports of Indian pharmaceuticals to regulated markets by way of discussing with regulators of the US FDA, UK MHRA and others.  Recently, the council has taken initiative for stepping up exports to Japan by holding dialogue with Japan’s pharmaceuticals and medical devices regulatory agency, PMDA.

India is manufacturing plenty of vaccines including Covid-19 vaccines, but they are not exported to other countries due to restrictions. Will Pharmexcil take any step for an unrestricted shipment of vaccines from home?
Due to the huge requirements of vaccines in India, we had to restrict exports of vaccines. But, recently the government has announced that they will resume exports of vaccines.  Pharmexcil is following-up on the same.

Remdesivir injection is also in the restricted list. According to information from reliable sources, there are huge piles of stocks of remdesivir, but cannot be exported.  How can Pharmexcil solve this issue?
There is also a favourable view from the government side to remove restriction on export of remdesivir injection. Some procedural issues are to be sorted out.
Small exporters want export incentives and subsidies from government to improve their overseas business. Do you have any plan to take their issues with the government?
Small exporters are already being provided with incentives under MAI scheme and MDA Scheme.  We request the government for continuation of CLCS scheme from MSME Ministry for project funding.  Besides, we are moving on with the department of pharmaceuticals (DoP) to speed up announcement of PTUAS scheme for funding assistance for technology upgradation to WHO-GMP standards.

Manufacturers of herbal products and neutraceuticals want to enter into export business. How will Pharmexcil help them?
Pharmexcil is always supportive towards exports of herbal products and neutraceuticals. We are willing to support them as and when needed.

Govt has ideas to boost exports of Ayush products. Does Pharmexcil has any plan to support the initiative of the government?
Yes, Pharmexcil is keen to increase exports of Ayush products. But the Union ministry of Ayush is going ahead with a plan to set up an Ayush Export Promotion Council (AEPC).
From 2020 onwards, due to Covid pandemic there has been no exhibition or trade show of pharma products and machinery. Delegates from other countries are not physically visiting here and no B2B meet is held.  Will Pharmexcil organize such shows and trade fairs in the near future?
Due to pandemic no physical meeting was possible, accordingly all physical programmes were cancelled. But, Pharmexcil conducted virtual buyer-seller meetings in the month of February 2021 with Latin America and African countries. Indo-CIS BSMs and Indo-ASEAN BSMs, both virtually, were conducted in the month of March 2021.  Now that travel restrictions are getting slowly removed, so we are planning to conduct physical buyer-seller meetings.


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Sourav rathore Nov 10, 2021 6:36 PM
R Narayanaswamy Nov 10, 2021 6:19 PM
Wheather pharmexicil will help manufacturers of medical devices for export ? There is a problem to get testing done in an approved drug testing lab for export. Recently HLL Ltd told me that they faced hardship in getting tested in a approved testing lab. The main problem is the testing lab says they may complete the analysis in 2 to 3 months time and asking for reference standards etc . Then the company looses export order.
Congratulations to Mr Verrazano to head the Pharmexcil for the betterment small and medium scale industries
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