Chennai: In a moved aimed at giving an impetus to make the Indian pharma sector independent and also facilitate large-scale employment in the domestic sector, a high-level committee constituted by the Union Department of Pharmaceuticals has recommended the establishment of large manufacturing zones or mega parks with common facilities across the country.
The move will make Indian pharma sector break from the shackles of over-dependence on China. Since the past four financial years, India has imported from China bulk drugs and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) worth about Rs 38,186 crore. Most of these have gone into making essential drugs. There is significant dependence on imports of 12 essential drugs: Paracetamol, Metformin, Ranitidine, Amoxicillin, Ciprofloxacin, Cefixime, Acetyl Salicylic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Ofloxacin, Ibuprofen, Metronidazole and Ampicillin. Eight of these are on WHO’s Model List of Essential Medicines.
The department had even admitted that about 90% of these essential drugs imports are from China. Coming as it does at such a juncture, the recommendations of the Dr. V. M. Katoch committee, formed by the DoP to formulate a long term policy and strategy for promoting domestic manufacturing of API bulk drugs, are very significant in making the pharma sector more autonomous.
States like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Odisha could be consulted and they could allocate the land and provide other facilities. Parks could be set up in the vicinity of mega complexes where chemicals meant for further stages in producing APIs could be produced, the Katoch committee said. Such mega parks require common effluent treatment plants, testing facilities, captive power plants assured power supply, etc, among the other things.
These parks could be allotted to large bulk, medium and small manufacturers on the basis of a formula to be specified in the guidelines, which may be prepared by the DoP. It is said a single functional cluster could fetch benefits to the tune of about one billion dollars per annum and three clusters could help to transform the scenario in making the Active Pharmaceuticals Ingredients (APIs), independent, the panel recommended....
Location: Tamil Nadu