Hyderabad: Active pharmaceutical ingredients which are required to make medicines are not being manufactured in India, which poses a major challenge for quality control.
Active ingredients are imported from China and Europe for the first line of diabetes drugs, paracetamol, aspirin, painkillers and many others.
A senior drug controller said that local manufacture of the basic ingredients that are required to support the industry are virtually non-existent, and there is complete dependence on China.
“Every year $3 million worth of ingredients, intermediates and chemicals are imported from China alone. There is a strong need to have our own processing units so that there can be manufacturing of the same.”
Life-saving drugs, erythromycin, metformin for diabetic drugs, antibiotics, emergency medicines, cancer drugs and many others which are used widely in the country have the basic formulation from abroad. This is one of the prime concerns when monitoring quality and efficacy of medicines.
A senior drug controller explained, “There is no testing carried out before buying the raw material. In case of cancer drugs, there have been constant complaints from doctors that the medicine is not having the desired effect. Independent testing shows that the efficacy is very low. Most patients pay a very high price for these drugs.”
The department of pharmaceuticals had submitted a report in February 2015 demanding long-term policy for reviving domestic manufacture of basic raw materials in the country. The problem for the industry is that they do not find it lucrative as the investment required is high and the returns low.