Govt to soon launch bulk drug/medical equipment parks

The government will soon launch a programme for setting up common facilities for production of bulk drugs and medical devices, in order to fully utilise the potential of this sunrise industry, union minister for chemicals and fertilisers Ananth Kumar has said.

He said the government has already accepted the Katoch Committee report on bulk drugs and that his ministry has been in consultation with other government departments on the implementation of the committee's recommendations.

Speaking at the annual conference of pharmaceuticals and medical devices in New Delhi today, he said that the ministry is working on an enabling infrastructure, regulation and tariff structure required for the pharmaceutical sector to prosper.

The creation of separate zones for pharma sector will help in getting affordable and unencumbered large parcels of land and common facilities for the industry, thereby reducing the manufacturing costs by 30 per cent, thereby making Indian pharma industry competitive in the world, he said.

The minister said the pharmaceutical sector in the country is a sunrise industry, with large potential and India can be a world leader with the right environment.

On the issue of the inverted duty structure, he proposed to lead a delegation of pharma industry to present a memorandum to the finance minister before the budget session.

Ananth Kumar said that he is also pushing for the idea for a separate ministry of Pharmaceutical and medical devices, so as to give a boost to the sector. He also talked about promotion, encouragement, enabling atmosphere and regulation so that quality affordable drugs are available to the common masses of the country.

He also reaffirmed the government's stance on regulations - that the government will intervene to make medicines available at affordable rates to all sections of the society in the country.

Minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said the government was working to facilitate the growth of pharma sector. He said there was need to do good and effective work in the field of research and development in the sector.

Checking the prices of medicines is essential to make them affordable for the common masses, Ahir added.