The Government of India is exploring ways to offer financial support to pharmaceutical players engaged in the areas of research and innovation for new drugs, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said while pitching for investments at a pre-Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

This comment from the Union Minister comes after the industry stressed on the need for financial support on several occasions previously.

Encouraging innovation

“In coming days, we are working to offer financial support for those companies that are conducting research in the new drug area. This is being practised world over, and will be practised in India too. The work is going on in this direction,” said Mandaviya addressing a gathering of investors, pharmaceutical companies, healthcare professionals and officials from the regulators in India and abroad. “We have been making generic drugs for the world and are known as generic drug maker. But now we are encouraging research in the country so that we too can have our own patented drugs,” he said.

The Health Minister also asked the companies to make innovative and affordable products both in medical space and medical devices.

S Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Government of India, highlighted the importance of getting ahead of the curve by focusing on innovations in the pharmaceutical sector. “I urge the delegates to examine opportunities that lie for India."

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel appealed to the investors of the healthcare, pharmaceuticals and medical devices to invest in the State and assured policy support and ease of doing business.

The Summit on holistic healthcare was also attended by India's drug regulator VG Somani, Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Sarah McMullen, Country Director for India, US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) among other leaders of the healthcare space.

Faster and easier market access

Mandaviya also stated that the government is also working with regulators in different countries to recognise the Indian Pharmacopoeia (IP) so as to make exports easier and hassle-free for Indian drug makers.

“We are discussing with the global regulators to recognise Indian Pharmacopoeia. With mutual agreement, we see that the world is now getting ready to recognise Indian Pharmacopoeia. This will benefit our pharma companies to get faster and easier access to those global markets, who have accepted Indian Pharmacopoeia,” he added.

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan was first country to recognise IP in 2019. IP is an officially recognised book of standards as per the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules 1945 thereunder.

The Indian Pharmacopoeia specifies the standards of drugs manufactured and marketed in India in terms of their identity, purity and strength. The standards are authoritative in nature and are enforced by the regulatory authorities for quality control of medicines in India.