Shri Anand Sharma, Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textile chaired the first meeting of Consultative Group on pharmaceutical exports here today. The meeting was attended by top CEOs of Pharma companies, viz., Ranbaxy, Wockhardt, Panacea Biotech, Vimta Labs, Suven Life Sciences, GVK Bio Resources Limited, etc.
The meeting was also attended by Commerce Secretary; Secretary, DIPP; Secretary, D/o Pharmaceutical; Additional Secretary, DOC; DCGI, JS, MEA, D/o Health and other senior officers.
The contribution of Indian pharmaceutical industry in supplying affordable, quality generic medicines was lauded by the attendees of the meeting. Commerce Secretary Shri S R Rao apprised the gathering about the implementation of the Brand India Pharma campaign launched in Japan in March 2012 to position India as the Pharmacy of the World and Brand Indian pharma products as affordable, quality medicines.
Shri Sharma recalled that it was the entry of Indian generic medicines in the global supply chain which started an ethical debate worldwide between generics versus patented drugs, and ultimately the right of every citizen to access affordable quality medicines were upheld. While time and again there have been attempts by multinationals to malign Indian generics as substandard, counterfeit, the resilience of Indian industry has withstood all these challenges. The Government is fully committed to support this vibrant sector. The Minister also apprised that substantial opportunities exist for Indian pharma industry in emerging economies like Russia, Africa, South America. He assured the industry captains that the Government will take up the non-tariff barriers being mounted by US as also EU against Indian pharma industry in bilateral forums at appropriate levels.
Captains of industry made a strong plea for timely approvals and procedural simplification by Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for clinical trials, import of samples, etc. They also requested liberal funding through venture capital vehicle for giving an impetus to R&D and innovation to this knowledge based industry. Industry was of the view that given the right impetus and policy initiatives, and procedural simplification, Indian pharma industry is capable of doubling the exports rather achieving a target of US$ 50 bn in the next five years.
The Minister assured the industry that a Committee of Secretaries of the concerned department will be set up to consider the suggestions to take Indian pharma industry on a growth trajectory in a time bound manner. The progress will be reviewed after three months.