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IPA convention stresses need for joint deliberations by govt and industry to make India self-sufficient in API production

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The recently concluded 7th national convention of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) stressed the need for joint deliberations by government and the industry on how India can become self-reliant in the production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediaries and excipients for manufacturing formulations in the domestic pharma industry.

Currently, about 70-75 % of the active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediaries are imported from China. Some quantity of formulations also is imported from there. If a tension between the two countries emerges immediately, the situation of the industry will be in crisis. This is a cause of concern for the industry, and it seeks a permanent solution, said S V Veeramani, the immediate past president of IDMA, while sharing his views at the inaugural session.

“Indian pharmaceutical industry has all the potential to become self-reliant in API production. We have good number of skilled workers and their technological expertise is very high. Facilities in the industry are also state-of-the-art. But price difference is the only aspect for our over-dependence on China. If government facilitates conducive atmosphere for the API industry, we can manufacture more than our requirement and go for export business. All formulations can be made here without relying on China for APIs”, he said.

He said government of India is also planning to limit the over dependence on China for all raw materials for various industry, especially on drug related raw materials. We are leader in generic drug production, but we import ingredients from the neighboring country. We have to be cautious on the safety and quality of the drugs also. So, it is better for our industrial sector not to depend on China for all kinds of raw materials. Government must provide all infrastructure facilities for bringing up API units in India, so that we can reduce the increased import of APIs, intermediaries and excipients from China.

According to him, Chinese products are available on lower prices because the government there supports the industry very much with subsidies for everything. They want to become number one in API production. In the case of Indian pharma industry, for all formulations, we depend on China for all raw materials.

The policy makers must advise the government to support the industry with capital subsidies, power subsidies, land allocation, relaxation of pollution control norms, speed up of approvals..etc. Similarly, government should come forward by introducing some cluster development programs for API industries, project of common effluent treatment plants (CETP), soft loans and funding for technology up-gradation. API production should become a priority sector, for this, the government can plan the strategy of public-private-partnership (PPP) model in this area, said Veeramani.

He pointed out that the public sector drug manufacturing units spread out in various states can be utilized for this purpose. Those capable and interested parties can partner with government for raw material production. The initiative should come from the side of the government. Like food security, we need security in drugs also. So, we must lessen relying on other countries for APIs.


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GANESH Feb 15, 2018 12:20 PM
yes, He is correct. It may also prevent the sudden price hike and quality issues. Government should Initiate first.
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