Bulk drugs are also known as API, that’s not our API ( Application Program Interface), It is Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient. These are ingredients of many popular drugs like Paracetamol, aspirin.
India is importing 90% of these drugs from China. In today’s life, drug is as essential as food. So, Indian Govt. is looking to make a policy on manufacturing these Bulk Drugs in India itself, thus reducing our importing costs and we get more employment which eventually enhances our economy. Other reason for setting up these medical parks is to control the prices of medicine especially essential medicine.
Usually, a medicine gives mostly desirable effects also called as therapeutic effects, and some times undesirable effects also known as side effects. These Bulk drugs are the good ones. Don’t take it for granted as they are not always on good side. Sometimes, same drugs can cause side effects when used at wrong place.
If Govt. has to make a policy, it definitely needs an expert’s advice which will be provided by some committee. For this Bulk drugs, Katoch committee is the expert. Usually all committees named after the Chair person. Dr.VM Katoch was the then, Secretary, Dept. of Health Research submitted report on February 2015. Now let’s see the recommendations given by them, briefly of course.
1.The Govt. should consider the entire Pharma industry, and not just essential drugs in setting up these clusters or manufacturing plants. The states may provide the essentials like land, effluent treatment plants (ETP), electricity to these mega parks.
2.At least two plants are necessary to produce these bulk drugs, one is for fermentation (breaking organic substance into smaller substances) and one on APIs. It is estimated that on an average, one cluster requires 1000-2000 hectors of land. And that cluster need initial investment of 750-1000 crore rupees which may return 60 billion rupees profit. The Govt. may allow large/medium/small scale manufacturers to make the drugs, the chemical formula will be decided by the Dept. of Pharmaceuticals.
3.Schemes for extending financial assistance to states to acquire lands and providing basic stuff like electricity. Or state Govt. may set up own manufacture unit.
4.Govt. may think on reviving of PSU by giving the manufacturing unit which produces critical drugs/vaccines.
5.Single window clearances are needed for manufacturers.
Along with these, Govt. should provide incentives in capital investment and give tax free status for cluster developers and cluster participants.