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Task Force asks govt to provide incentives on infrastructure to boost domestic production of APIs

Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai
Monday, February 1, 2016, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A high-level Task Force on 'Development of Manufacturing Capabilities in each Medical Vertical in Pharmaceutical Production' has asked the government to provide incentives on infrastructure to boost domestic production of APIs in the country.

Fermentation based API manufacturing units require large capital investments. Also these industries have large requirements of power and steam. APIs based on fermentation technology are currently not produced domestically due to its non-viability. Hence, these units should be given subsidized tariff for their power and steam requirements, the Task Force in its report, submitted to the government recently, said.

To facilitate the rapid transfer of technology, special API manufacturing zones for joint venture collaborations with international cooperation from API producing countries such as China and Italy, should be encouraged. It further asked the government to encourage public procurement and co-operative purchase programmes for ensuring availability & affordability of drugs prepared in consultation with communicable disease control programme managers.

Earlier in December 2014, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) had constituted this Task Force under the chairmanship of secretary, DoP, to identify focus areas for development of manufacturing capabilities in the respective medical vertical keeping in mind the specificities of each medical discipline.

The Task Force was asked to identify the gaps in domestic manufacturing in these verticals and suggesting ways to overcome them and also to identify the issues and support required from different government agencies and departments for achieving the manufacturing capabilities and filling the gap areas, if any, in each medical vertical.

In its report, the Task Force made several recommendations for skill development. In this regard it asked the government to organise capacity building workshops for SMEs to assist them in obtaining WHO Prequalification status for the manufacture of both formulations and APIs.

“NIPERs should assist in developing manufacturing capabilities of drugs used for communicable diseases. NIPERs should facilitate in getting qualified and trained manpower for the various job functions for the pharmaceutical industry, namely research, production and quality control,” the Task Force in its report said.


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