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India Needs To Declare API Pharma Production As Strategic To Boost Local Manufacturing

PANAJI: In an action plan for the Indian healthcare sector, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Thursday said that the Coronavirus crisis makes a compelling case for the government to declare active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing as a strategic sector since most inputs are imported from China.

CII has also urged the Centre to approval for new API production units should be fast tracked.

“Industry also suggests that firms for which capacity utilisation is 40% may be permitted to produce API which are being imported. Approvals for new investments should be fast-tracked. CII has proposed that blanket environment permission be provided to manufacture any API on submission of self-certification to comply with pollution load requirement,” said CII in its action points for strengthening the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

Other CII recommendations to strengthen API and intermediates production include creation of large API parks with fiscal benefits for existing API and intermediates plants, supportive regulatory framework and providing incentives for new product development, processes and technology.

CII has also warned that the Coronavirus outbreak could lead to significant shortage of supply, especially for critical medicines and medical devices such as thermometers, nebulizers, glucometers and medicines.

“The medical devices market too is heavily import dependent, at around 70-80%, with imaging equipment, CT and MRI scanners, cardiac stents, orthopedic implants, glucometers, and critical care equipment cornering a large share. Many raw materials and components are imported from China,” said CII in the report.

The real impact of the coronavirus will be visible only after April 2020, said CII and added that the private sector can support the government in medical facilities, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.-Times Of India