A govt-appointed committee will frame policy for firms to conduct research in India for drug discovery.
Now that the scheme for making India self-reliant in bulk drug supply is underway, the department of pharmaceuticals is all set to encourage research and development of novel drugs with a new policy, pharma secretary P.D. Vaghela said on Monday.
We are the third largest pharmaceutical industry in the world by volume, but the 13th largest by value. The only way we can increase value is by drug discovery and we are working on a policy for it, Vaghela told on the sidelines of an event to launch the guidelines for schemes on increasing bulk drug and medical device production.
The government appointed committee, chaired by Vaghela, and comprising officials from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and department of science and technology, besides the likes of Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Zydus Cadila chairman Pankaj Patel, will frame the policy.
Vaghela added the committee will come up with suggestions on schemes and incentives for pharmaceutical companies to conduct research and for increasing coordination between research institutes in India for drug discovery.
Queries to Biocon and Zydus Cadila spokespersons did not elicit any response.
The government issued the guidelines for the production-linked incentive (PLI) and manufacturing cluster schemes for boosting domestic production of bulk drugs and medical devices, with an aim to reduce dependence on imports, especially for bulk drugs from China.
"The virus crisis has exposed the weakness in global supply chains and this poses a threat to the health security of the country. It was felt that domestic production of APIs and medical devices have to be ramped up in order to eliminate any risk to India’s health security," said Union minister for chemicals and fertilizers D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
The scheme will provide incentives for pharmaceutical firms in India to scale up domestic production of 41 critical bulk drugs.
Under the ₹6,940-crore bulk drug PLI scheme, incentives on 70-90% of domestic value addition will be given to 136 manufacturers for six years as a fixed percentage of domestic sales of the 41 products manufactured locally.