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India-China Team On Pharma To Meet Next Month

India will be sending a high-level delegation to the first meeting of the working group on pharmaceuticals, with China, scheduled in Beijing next month.

An initiative under the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) Mechanism, the working group meeting comes in the backdrop of growing efforts by India to increase pharma exports to China.

In doing so, the emphasis has been on impressing upon China to make the drug registration process easier for Indian pharma companies. “There is a need for strengthening our exports to China and also to reduce import dependence from China, which could be achieved with regular trade and bilateral discussions,” a communication from the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) to its members said.

Seventeenth position

In 2018-19, China figured in the 17th spot in the list of India’s top pharma export destinations. At $230.19 million, exports increased 14.83% from the previous year’s $200.46 million.

The Indian delegation will be led by Joint Secretary to the Department of Pharmaceuticals and comprise senior officials from the Commerce Ministry as well. Senior executives of a few pharma companies from India as well as of those already involved in their firms’ operations in China, such as Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and Hetero, are expected to be part of the delegation, sources said.

The Working Group meeting is on May 7, and will be followed by the delegation visiting API plants and interacting with API manufacturers and trade associations on May 8-9. Pharmaceuticals, according to Pharmexcil, has come to the centrestage of such discussions in the wake of China removing import tariffs on oncology drugs and a few others products. It is against this backdrop India is keen on China relaxing the drug registration process. Such a move – now 3-5 years is the time taken for getting a product registration from China’s National Medical Products Administration and the cost is about $58,000 per drug – would encourage more Indian companies to supply to China. – The Hindu

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