Peethaambaran: The state of Kerala seems to be facing tremendous pressures due to the Health Ministry’s ban of 344 FDC drugs. The worst hit being the small scale pharma and contract manufacturers of the state; who are facing the brunt of the state’s wholesaler wrath in the form of having to accept non banned stocks along with the banned 344 FDC drugs. Some might even be facing closure due to this indiscriminate return of medicines.
The wholesalers are returning the non banned stock in the face of new arrivals in the market and their inability in selling the ones that are already on their shelves.The manufacturer’s woe being that the non banned stocks returned to them were sold to the distributors based on their orders, reports Pharmabiz.
According to sources in the pharma industry, inspectors were taking daily rounds of pharmacies instructing retail and wholesale stores to return all banned medication, and asking them for lists of pharmaceutical products already returned.
“Without any proper reason, they are sending the sold products back to us because of poor sale. The banned combination brands are coming back every day. Along with them, the traders are sending the products which they do not want to market. What can we do, our go-downs are now full with the returned products which are not banned. Ours is also a business,” says Purushothaman Namboothiri, president of the Kerala Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association. Namboothiri is of the opinion that the ban would completely destroy the contract manufacturing sector. Talking about banned products he said that all brands were being returned.
In comparison with other states, the manufacturers felt that the 344 FDC drug ban would mark the end of pharma business community in Kerela. ‘An overnight decision to ban decade old medicines has actually weakened the industry and is killing the small scale entrepreneurs,’ said a manufacturer from Thrissur, a member of the KPMA.
Kerala has a few well established pharmaceutical manufacturing companies under the SME sector; additionally an equal number of contract manufacturers. Seventy per cent of the total quantity of drugs marketed all over the state, and supplied in public and private health centres is manufactured and brought in from other states. A major portion of the medicines supplied by the state medical services corporation (KMSCL) are imported into the state after purchasing them from big players outside the state.