Hyderabad: The Central government has issued showcause notices to eight Chinese pharmaceutical firms for supplying poor quality raw material to Indian drug makers, said a news agency, adding that these companies may be blacklisted.
“The allegations against the companies are of providing poor quality products and the action against them will soon be decided by the government. This will be harsh as we don’t want the quality of drugs in India compromised,” said IANS quoting a senior DCGI officer. “The notices were issued after a special inspection team of the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) inspected the eight companies in China,” it said.
Most Indian pharma firms are of late depending on active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) or raw material for medicine from Chinese companies, raising concern in the Indian government.
According to a pharma industry body, Indian pharma companies secure 70-75 percent of APIs from China. India typically imported around `12,000 crore worth APIs every year from China. However, this figure had risen to `18,372.54 crore in FY17.
The Indian drug makers have shifted to Chinese APIs as they were about four times cheaper than those produced in India. The Chinese companies manufacture in large scale and have cheaper power, helping them to cut down on the cost.
Calling it a bold decision by the government, Dr Appaji, former director-general of Pharmexil, said, “Though it sends a signal to importers that we are vigilant about the quality of drugs, the government should be extremely careful and cautious to ensure that it does not lead to supply disruption.”
He said the Centre should also take care of the Indian pharma industry’s needs by promoting domestic APIs, which are cost-effective. Last year, the government had proposed to give preference to formulations produced from indigenous API and its intermediates in government procurements....