Antibiotics: Effort to Minimize Dependence on Imports

New Delhi: The quantity of raw materials imported for the formulation of antibiotic medicines was reduced to 11,230.50 metric tonne in 2019, as the government has undertaken various steps to promote the production in the country, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

As per the information received from the port offices of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), it stood at 12,006.11 metric tonne (MT) for 2018 and 5,591.44 MT in 2017, Minister of Chemicals & Fertilizers D V Sadananda Gowda said in a reply in the House. “The policies formulated by Government from time to time are designed to minimize country’s dependence on imports and to give fillip to indigenous manufacturing,” he added. In this direction, the government has withdrawn exemption of customs duty on certain categories of bulk drugs/ APIs, which are used in the manufacturing of some of the antibiotics, to provide a level-playing field to domestic manufacturers, Gowda said.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals has formulated a scheme, namely ‘Assistance to bulk drug industry for common facility centre’, for providing assistance to bulk drug segment in any upcoming bulk drug park promoted by state governments/ state corporations, he added. “An inter-ministerial task force was also constituted under the chairmanship of the Minister of State of Chemicals and Fertilizers on April 18, 2018 to formulate a roadmap for enhanced production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the country,” Gowda said. Ministry of health and family welfare and CDSCO have also various measures to encourage indigenous manufacturing of drugs, he added.

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