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Govt may come out with new bulk drug policy in a month: Minister Hansraj Ahir

Govt may come out with new bulk drug policy in a month: Minister Hansraj Ahir

Mumbai: The government is expected to announce the new bulk drug policy in a month’s time, which is expected to bring down imports, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir has said.

“We are coming out with new bulk drug policy in month’s time. The policy is aimed at bringing down imports of bulk drugs and increasing the domestic output,” Ahir said on the sidelines of Make in India week here.

Last month, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) had moved a Cabinet note on bulk drugs, based on recommendations of Katoch committee.

Bulk Drugs or APIs are basically the active raw materials used in a drug that gives it the therapeutic effect.

Bulk drugs currently constitute only 10-12 per cent share in the country’s Rs 80,000 crore-domestic pharmaceutical sector. India is primarily dependent on China for its imports of bulk drugs.

According to industry estimates, 70-80 per cent of the requirement of the industry is met by imports from China, varying across categories.

Meanwhile, government sees the country’s pharmaceutical industry growth potential to touch $200 billion by 2030 from the present $32 billion.

“We have the potential to grow to $200 billion by 2030 from the present $32 billion. The global pharma industry is estimated at $1,000 billion.

“We need to upscale our pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity to become the largest producer of the drugs in the world,” Secretary, Department of Pharmaceutical, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, V K Subburaj said.

The industry is growing at 8-9 per cent per annum at present, and even if we maintain the same growth rate, we can reach $110 billion by 2030, Subburaj said, adding that we need to overcome several challenges to achieve this herculean task.

The domestic medical device market is estimated at $5 billion which has a potential to touch $100 billion, he said.

To overcome the quality problems, we need to have our own APIs manufacturing capacities. The new bulk drug policy will help in increasing the domestic bulk drug production and reduce dependence on Chinese imports, he added.

Also present at the event, Sun Pharma managing director Dilip Shanghvi said the industry needs to focus on encouraging innovation, at par with the international practice.

The government’s Make in India initiative will help the growth of the domestic pharma industry in a big way, he said.

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