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Indian pharma sector exports can grow multifold: Commerce Secretary

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Regulatory norms and growth potential for Indian pharma took centrestage at iPHEX 2016

Expressing satisfaction on the performance of the exports in the last fiscal, Rita Teotia, Commerce Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, emphasised that the Indian pharma sector is strong and has the ability to grow to a much larger global market share. “The Indian pharma industry is best placed to take this leap as India offers several advantages such as skilled manpower, large pool of scientists, favourable policy framework and global experience of the industry,” she said, speaking on the sidelines of the fourth edition of iPHEX 2016 in Mumbai.

The Commerce Secretary’s thoughts resonated at the second day of the mega event. The international pharmaceutical and health expo’s second day proceedings touched upon various facets of the pharma sector, such as, pharmacopoeia standards and resolving regulatory
challenges to facilitate manufacturing and exports from India. Overseas representatives from Ghana, Japan and Nigeria actively participated in panel discussions with Indian FDA officials and pharma regulators.

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An initiative by the Ministry of Commerce, Govt of India, the three-day iPHEX 2016 was organised by Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) under the Brand India Pharma Campaign. It is one of the few platforms which integrate pharma and healthcare sectors at one venue to showcase Indian products and technologies to a global audience. This year’s event attracted over 40 drug regulators from various countries, more than 300 Indian exhibitors, and 600 overseas business visitors from over 100 countries.

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Concurrent events such as buyer-seller meets reinforced delegate-enthusiasm and the trust in Indian pharma sector. These buyer-seller meets managed to generate 3000 potential enquiries on day two. Dr PV Appaji, Director General, Pharmexcil noted that this participation was one-of-a kind, and delegate invitations sent to over 100 countries have led to potential increase in exports. “Serious enquiries have been gathered in varied pharma fields such as APIs, nutraceuticals, ayurvedic, dosages, drug formulations, etc in the area of generic drugs as well as R&D and patents. Quality and reliable safe drugs to end-users is a critical challenge in the global supply chain, which most governments and regulators are attempting to bridge. The seminars discussed these challenges. Pharmexcil and the iPHEX platform is focused on resolving and providing a sound platform to deliberate and iron out such challenges.”

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The Indian pharma exports stand at $17 billion currently and grew by 9.4 per cent in 2015-16. The Indian market, exports $12.7 billion worth pharma goods in generic category, which is 5.8 per cent of the overall global generic market. Sudhanshu Pandey, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, averred that the Indian pharma sector not only offers cost benefits but also quality in products. He said that we should not focus on the pharma sector alone, but on the entire ecosystem. Associations and universities can contribute through student – exchange and by conducting various symposiums to discuss and deliberate on crucial issues, thereby leading to quality and affordable pharma products.

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