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Pharma body calls for policy measures to encourage innovation in sector

Our Bureau Hyderabad July 2 | Updated on July 02, 2014

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The Indian Pharmaceuticals Association wants the Modi Government to come out with policy initiatives to encourage innovation in the pharma sector through incentives and to boost production of essential drugs by domestic industry so as to reduce the dependence on Chinese imports.

The association is concerned over India’s almost total dependence on China for 15 to 20 drugs in the essential list, including some penicillin-based products and antibiotics. “These are basically some older products and are high-volume ones, which are needed to be produced on a large scale. If there is a breakdown in the supply chain (from China) or price disruptions, India will suffer from the patients’ point of view,” K Satish Reddy, IPA President and Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Lab, said.

He said China was able to produce these drugs on a large scale and at cheaper prices as the industry was provided certain incentives and facilities, including subsidised power, without which the same production in India would be costlier.

The association suggested setting up of industry clusters with basic infrastructure and reduced power costs to encourage local industry to go in for mass production of these drugs and active pharma ingredients to reduce Chinese dependence.

The need for a policy framework to encourage innovation is another area that the association wants the Government to focus on.

Reddy said innovations and incubations in the pharma sector were today bogged down in a “maze of procedures”. He felt that the Government should provide some direct incentives in the form of grants or loans to encourage innovations and incubations.

“In fact, in many countries, if an incubation or innovation effort fails, the loan is waived off. There has to be a system that is conducive to public-private partnership in innovation and incubations,” he said.

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Published on July 02, 2014
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