Govt Soon to Roll Out Technology Upgradation Scheme to Boost Pharma SMEs

Monday, March 30, 2015

Source: Pharma Biz

Subsequent to the announcement of setting up of 10 pharma clusters in the country to provide common facilities to the pharmaceutical industry, the Central government would soon come out with the much awaited technology upgradation scheme to boost small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to an official associated with the development. 

The much awaited common facility support scheme has also been finally released and the government is now in the process of appointing project management consultants for the same, the official informed. 

A task force report has also been finalised to boost domestic manufacturing of medical devices in the country as India imports 70%  to 80% of costly medical devices. It has also been learnt that the government is also mulling over to formulate a policy to boost medical device production through providing special incentives to the pharma industry and setting up of medical device parks across the country. 

According to industry experts, there has been a long pending demand to launch schemes for pharma technology upgradation more so as India is dependent on China for imports of drugs and medical devices. "Though drugs in India are lesser priced, medical device sector is an important area which need attention as the cost of diagnosis is still not an affordable proposition for Indian population, more so, as the disease burden in India will increase by five times in the coming years," an official added.

Industry has also felt that there is an urgent need to propel SME sector by helping with soft finance for technological upgradation, compliance with GMP standards and setting up of the common or individual Effluent Treatment plants. Upgradation of SMEs to WHO-GMP standards would enable them to export their products and thereby increase their credibility.

Union chemicals and fertilizers minister Ananth Kumar recently announced that 10 new pharma clusters will provide common facilities to the pharmaceutical industry, and help them hive off up to 25% of the cost, making them globally competitive. A strategy to develop the clusters has also been framed for its early implementation.

He also said that the Government wants to provide health security for the poor people of the country, and this requires innovative strategies, like supply of generic medicines, building domestic capacity in bulk drugs, and making pharma sector competitive. 

A unified policy, regulation and administration mechanism is required for the pharmaceutical industry. It has therefore been recommended to the Prime Minister to set up a separate department for the same. According to the Minister, Katoch Committee Report on the issue of bulk drugs production in the country has been received in the Ministry, and an action plan is being prepared for its implementation. Once its recommendations are put in place, it will make Indian industry viable and competitive.

The government has finalised a report with certain recommendations grouped into 11 broad groups. These groups include the following like single window clearance mechanism, inducing manufacturing clusters, unified policy mechanism, capacity building across functions, developing a national innovation strategy, creating innovation fund targeted towards specific therapy areas, streamlining IP operations, evidence-based price controls, greater industry academia collaboration, streamlining clinical trials and ensuring quality compliance.

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