The Indian government has set aside Rs. 10,000 crore ($1.2bn) for the pharmaceutical industry to shift the country away from its reliance on active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) produced in China.
Due to the emergence of the novel coronavirus, API production has been hampered in China, which had a knock-on impact for global supply.
As a result, the Indian government ordered the limit of the export of certain APIs and formulations.
In attempt to prevent a similar occurrence in the future, the Indian government plans to finance the construction of three bulk drug parks, through an investment of Rs. 3,000 crore over the next five years.
In addition, the government will create a production-linked incentive scheme for the promotion of domestic manufacturing of critical drug intermediates and APIs in the country.
The Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) welcomed the decision by calling it a “a major step in the creation of a self-sufficient healthcare ecosystem,” further suggesting that currently the industry is ‘dependent’ on China for many APIs and intermediates.
In a statement, Dilip Shanghvi, managing director of Sun Pharma, said the move would “safeguard healthcare security and create [an] ecosystem for [a] strong Indian API industry.”
According to Prashant Khadayate, pharma analyst at Global Data, the government has identified 53 APIs that it would like manufacturers to focus on.
Further than strengthening its domestic base, Khadayate stated that the action would “cement India’s position as a hub of API supply for the global markets in the future.”
At present, India contributes around 20% of the global generics market, with the country’s manufacturers representing approximately a third of the US market by volume.