Need to reduce dependency on API imports: Minister appeals to Pharma Companies
Generic medicines sold at dedicated Jan Aushadhi stores are cheaper by at least 50% and for some even by 90%.
Delhi: The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers, Shri V Sadananda Gowda has said that there is no shortage of medicines in the country to deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Inaugurating India Pharma & Medical Device 2020 conference in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat Today' Shri Gowda assured that so far, Government has been able to successfully restrict its spread in India due to strong surveillance and monitoring system. The global outbreak has not only posed an immense challenge to the pharma sector but also opened up a window of opportunity for the sector. He said the preparedness of Government, hospitals, medical institutions and the pharma sector to deal with Coronavirus in any eventuality have been strong and firmed up.
Shri Gowda further said that there is a need to reduce our dependency on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) imports by making India self-sufficient in API manufacturing. He said that pharma companies should take a cue from this emerging situation and take steps to increase their capacity in API manufacturing.
The Union Minister said that the potential of the pharma sector is very high. The growing population, increasing prosperity and rising awareness towards health provide a very good incentive to make further investment in this sector. If these opportunities are seized properly, the market size of the Indian Pharma Industry can reach to more than 100 Billion USD by 2025 while the Medical Devices industry can reach to 50 Billion USD by 2025. The Government has formulated schemes for development of bulk drug park and medical device park under which Union Government provides a lumpsum amount as grant in aid to the State Governments for building common facility centres in the park. We have received several proposals from States like Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh which are under active consideration in the Department.
In developing countries, where a large section of the population may still be poor, and where out of pocket medical expenditure may be very high vis-à-vis their income, affordability of medicines is one of the prime concerns of the society as a whole. There is no doubt that the pharma industry has delivered on this account by manufacturing and supply in the country and abroad. However, a lot more is left to be achieved on this front.
Shri Gowda said that to improve the affordability of quality generic medicines Government of India is implementing Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) with the objective to realize the vision of Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to make affordable medicines available to common people, especially to poor and disadvantaged. Generic medicines sold at dedicated Jan Aushadhi stores are cheaper by at least 50% and for some even by 90%. The response of people has been tremendous. Union Minister urged pharmaceutical companies to focus on R & D and launch newer drugs in the market keeping in mind affordability considerations in developing countries.
On this occasion MoS Chemicals & Fertilizers, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya said that the pharma and medical sector can be next "sunrise" segment. The thrust of the Government is towards ease of doing business by providing long term policy stability and simplification of a regulatory mechanism that would help the pharma and medical device industry to scale new heights.
He said that Government is committed to giving affordable healthcare to each and every citizen of India. Shri Mandaviya said that Indian Pharma sector is growing at 12% and growth of the medical device sector is at 20%. Still very good opportunities for growth. Because of Union govt.'s industry-friendly policy, low labour cost foreign industry is interested in investing in India. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also addressed the conference.
Read also: IDMA warns of adverse impact of coronavirus on Indian Pharma Companies
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