Secretary of Department of Pharmaceuticals, PD Vaghela has said that the Centre will soon come up with an exclusive policy for Research and Development in the pharmaceutical sector.
The government will soon set up three National Centres of Excellences (CoE) for drugs, medical devices in the country, said he, while speaking at the 77th Foundation day of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in Hyderabad.
The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Hyderabad will house one CoE for drug discovery.
Indian pharmaceutical Industry is the third largest in the world by volume and 14th in terms of value even as it contributes 3.5 per cent of the total medicines exported globally.
The total size of pharma and related industry including medical devices in the country was at USD 51 billion in 2019- 20, of which 75 per cent is contributed by pharmaceutical products alone, he said.
“We should be ready that our scientists also become millionaires. If they (scientists) can invent good products and do some research, why not? That is happening in Europe and the US. Why not in India? Even if a scientist in a government institute invent something good and it is converted into a commercial product, we should reward him,” Vaghela said.
Noting that India faces three challenges in the pharma and medical devices sectors, the official said 86 per cent of the total requirement of medical devices including surgical, cardiac stents and electronic gadgets are currently being imported due to cost advantage.
The other two challenges are import dependence for drug intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) while the third was R&D in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector and skilling.
Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers Shri DV Sadananda Gowda launched on July 27 four schemes of Department of Pharmaceuticals for promotion of domestic manufacturing of bulk drugs and medical devices parks in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Gowda said that this in line with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and his clarion call for making India Atma Nirbhar in pharma sector.
For this the Government of India has approved four schemes, two each for Bulk Drugs and Medical Devices parks. He exhorted the industry and the States to come forward and participate in these schemes.
He said, India is often referred to as ‘the pharmacy of the world’ and this has been proved true especially in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic when India continued to export critical life-saving medicines to needy countries even during the countrywide lockdown.
However, despite these achievements, it is a matter of concern that our country is critically dependent on imports for basic raw materials, viz. Bulk Drugs (Key Starting Materials (KSMs)/ Drug Intermediates (DIs) and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs)) that are used to produce some of the essential medicines. Similarly, in medical devices sector, our country is dependent on imports for 86% of its requirements of medical devices