Government to form a Ministry for Pharma sector amidst rising competition from China

India’s competitive pharmaceutical sector which is renowned for its low cost drugs will get a Ministry soon.  Minister of Chemicals and Fertlizers , Anant Kumar hinted the formation of the Ministry besides several other measures to give more incentives to the sector.  At present, the pharmaceutical sector comes under the Chemicals and Fertlizer Ministry.

The pharmaceutical industry of the country is low cost and is a major exporter but is coming under tremendous competition from China. Amidst increasing imports of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) from China, the government has set up a panel – Katoch Panel to suggest corrective measures.

The Panel was set up to study and identify APIs of critical importance. It was also asked to suggest ways to reduce India’s dependence on their imports.

The Panel recommended the setting up of mega parks to manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) with common facilities like testing, power and effluent treatment plants.

Pharmaceutical is one important sector where India is strong and self reliant. Besides it is a major export revenue contributor. Pharmaceutical sector of the country holds international importance as Indian industry is renowned globally as the supplier of cheap and reliable drugs. Years back India was a major producer of API but at present imports nearly 80% of the API from China.

China is protecting its industry by raising several administrative barriers and is developing the domestic sector. India has suggested Beijing several measures to boost Indian pharmaceutical exports to China to reduce the trade deficit. API imports from China is observed as the emergence of strong Chinese presence in pharmaceutical sector.