Efforts on to rely less on China, Italy for pharma ingredients


Visakhapatnam, 16.03.18: The Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil), along with national research institutes, is drawing up plans to reduce the dependence on China and Italy for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates, said R Uday Bhaskar, Director-General, Pharmexcil.

“India is largely dependent on China for API imports. Until recently, China used to sell APIs at lower prices due to their lower labour costs. The profit margin on APIs used to be low, and Indian drug manufacturers thought it wise to import APIs, make formulation drugs and export them,” said Bhaskar.

He was here to participate in a seminar on ‘Shifting Pharma Industry from Schedule-M to WHO-GMP Compliance’, here on Friday.

He said China increased the API prices as labour costs went up in that country.

“This is the right opportunity for India to develop APIs and intermediates. China has started purchasing APIs from India and concentrating on manufacture of formulation drugs. All countries are thinking of reducing their healthcare expenditure. These nations are looking towards India and China for the supply of drugs at lower prices,” he said.

Bhaskar said India is the leader in the manufacture of generic drugs with eight of the top 20 global generic drug manufacturers being Indian. “This gives India an advantage in the supply of generics to the world. India occupies the third place by volume and the 10th by value in pharma exports. Over 50 per cent of our exports are to highly regulated markets such as the US and Europe,” he added.

Courtesy: CH RS Sarma, The Hindu