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Pharma industry clocks healthy growth
Leverage strengths in organic synthesis, process engineering

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The prescription
Task force set up to make life-saving drugs affordable.
Plan outlay for the Central Health Sector Schemes in 2005-06 is Rs 2,908 crore.
National Council on AIDS set up for combating spread of HIV/AIDS.

IN FINE FETTLE: The pharma industry has recorded domestic sales of $4.5 billion and over $3.8 billion in exports.
IN FINE FETTLE: The pharma industry has recorded domestic sales of $4.5 billion and over $3.8 billion in exports.

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 27

The Economic Survey has expressed satisfaction on the performance of the pharmaceutical industry that has recorded domestic sales of $4.5 billion and over $3.8 billion in exports.

It has said that the industry must leverage its strengths in organic synthesis and process engineering without compromising on quality, and developing cost-effective technologies in the shortest possible time for drug intermediaries and bulk actives. The country has become well-known for supplying low cost anti-retroviral (ARV) or anti-AIDS drugs to developing countries.

The Survey also talks about the task force that has been set up to make life saving drugs affordable. The recommendations not only include fiscal measures but also focus on research and development. "The Government in consultation with various stakeholders is considering these recommendations," said the Survey.

Meanwhile, the Economic Survey has referred to the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) that envisages increasing the public spending on health to two-three per cent of the GDP by increased contributions from the Central and State Governments.

The Health Ministry has launched the National Rural Health Programme.

The Plan outlay for the Central Health Sector Schemes in 2005-06 is Rs 2,908 crore. "About 55 per cent of the Plan outlay continues to be spent on centrally sponsored disease control programme for major communicable and non-communicable diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, blindness, cancer and mental disorders," the Survey said.

The Government has launched the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme for reducing the mortality due to malaria, dengue, Japanese Encephalitis by half and eliminate Kala-azar by 2010 and elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis by 2015.

In order to tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, the National Council on AIDS headed by the Prime Minister has been set up. "The National AIDS Control Policy, 2002 aims at prevention of further spread of HIV, reducing impact of HIV on health of people and achieving zero rate of growth of new infections by 2006," it said. Free ARV treatment has been given to 23,784 patients in 18 States.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 28, 2006)
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