#SpeakPharma with CRMO Pharmmatecch
This week, Parul Oza is back on SpeakPharma to take us through the changes the global pharmaceutical supply chain is experiencing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. This time, the managing director of the Ahmedabad (India) headquartered complete outsourcing solutions provider talks about the strengths of the Indian pharmaceutical industry and how it can capitalize on the opportunities emerging in the post-Covid world. Excerpts:
It’s great to be back on SpeakPharma. The past few months have certainly revealed the fragility of the global pharmaceutical supply chain, including how dependent it is on China.
Of late, both the US and Europe have said they want to reduce reliance on imports. Japan too is talking about shifting production home.
The Indian government has approved two schemes to promote the manufacturing of APIs.
The first scheme — Promotion of Bulk Drug Parks — seeks to develop three mega
bulk drug parks in India in partnership with states; while the second scheme — Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme — seeks to promote domestic manufacturing of critical key starting materials (KSMs) or drug intermediates and APIs in India.
While there is a wide range of products that need alternative sources, the list of products shared by India provides a good sense of where the dependencies (on China) lie. There is dependence on China for antibiotics, vitamins, hormones and even for commonly used medicines like aspirin and paracetamol.
Under the two new schemes in India, financial incentives will be given to manufacturers of 53 critical bulk drugs on their incremental sales over the base year (2019-20) for a period of six years.
India can certainly become the pharmacy of the world. This policy will also help the government with its aim to attain self-reliance and drug security, while also boosting manufacturing.
India is already the leading country when it comes to filing DMFs with the US Food and Drug Administration and it also has an established inspection track record with most regulatory agencies in the world.
Before China became a global leader, India had a strong track record of manufacturing APIs and KSMs. Even today, India has a large number of underutilized facilities which are either approved or approvable. India also boasts of abundant skilled manpower and a deep understanding of process chemistry to develop novel routes of synthesis. The country has all the necessary supporting infrastructure available to not only manufacture but also to assure the quality of a pharmaceutical drug.
This is an opportunity for not just India but the global pharma industry to capitalize on reducing their dependence on China.
Most certainly. As the pricing pressure continues to increase, companies with APIs that are under patent should consider Indian units for production of their KSMs.
Finding a KSM manufacturer involves stricter due diligence, manufacturing set-up and infrastructure evaluation for a given process. It is akin to developing a KSM manufacturer.
Shifting supply chains out of China will be a complex exercise. For more than a decade now, China has overtaken other countries to become the largest producer of APIs and KSMs. They have developed scale, cost efficiencies, compliance standards and skilled manpower.