covid-19: Covid-19: Centre chalks out four schemes to boost production of bulk drugs and medical devices

By Mansukh Mandaviya

India is quite ahead globally in the manufacturing of medicines. However, the country still imports key raw materials — largely 53 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and key starting materials (KSM) or intermediaries. To resolve this issue, a task force on APIs was formed three years ago, and it has been consulting all stakeholders.

To meet the PM’s vision of ensuring national drug security, my ministry has chalked out a Rs 13,760 crore umbrella scheme to boost production of bulk drugs and medical devices.

The first scheme is helping states establish three bulk drug parks spread over at least 1,000 acres. The Centre will provide help through grant-in-aid of up to Rs 1,000 crore.

This amount will be for different common facilities like solvent recovery plant, power and steam units, distillation plants and effluent treatment plants. These facilities individually are costly, making domestic production unviable. The common facilities will thus help Indian companies keep the manufacturing cost at par.

The second scheme is aimed at giving incentives on incremental production over base year of critical drugs. We have identified 26 fermentation-based and 27 chemical-based key raw materials for which India is largely dependent on imports.

We have formulated a scheme to give an incentive of 20% for the first four years, 15% for the fifth year and 5% for the sixth year on incremental manufacturing. We have also identified 27 chemical-based key raw materials for which 10% rate of incentive will be provided during the six-year period of the scheme. These APIs largely contain anti-cancer drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic drugs.

The third scheme focuses on promoting domestic manufacturing of medical devices. It proposes grantin-aid to state governments for establishing four medical device parks, at a cost of Rs 100 crore each. The parks will have common facilities like testing centre, electro-magnetic interference laboratory, medical grade lowvacuum moduling, sterilisation and electricity testing centre.

The fourth scheme is to help manufacturers of medical devices. A production linked incentive scheme has been formulated to provide incentive at 5% for six years to manufacturers of medical devices of four categories — cancer care/radiotherapy, aesthetic and cardio respiratory, radiology and nuclear medicine — and all implants like cochlear and pacemakers. During these years, Rs 3,420 crore will be distributed as incentives to the manufacturers under the scheme.

We are also looking at additional production of medical devices worth Rs 68,437 crore in the first five years and nearly Rs 19,000 crore worth of import substitution per annum, which will also help us export medical devices. Likewise, we are targeting incremental production of APIs worth Rs 46,800 crore during the next five years and import substitution worth Rs 19,000 crore per annum. These efforts will promote Make in India, import substitution, exports and ensure drug security.

Source Article

Lois C. Ferrara

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