VIA MSME Forum organized a webinar on “Post COVID opportunities for Pharma sector in Vidarbha Region” recently. Eminent speakers shared their views – Sudhir Deulgaonkar, President of VDMA said the pharma sector is in good condition in Vidarbha region, two companies have agreed to invest in Vidarbha region. He said presently there will not be any issues for getting clearance for the environmental laws. There should be designated Pharma Park in Vidarbha Region.
Anwar Daud, MD of ZIM Laboratories said in the current scenario only the pharma & IT sector is in good conditions. There are 57 Pharma institutions in Vidarbha. Nagpur is very rich in natural land & mining land, Lakes & Dams & dry climate in Nagpur which is very essential for any formulation industry. NIPER institution has been allotted to Nagpur but yet to start. There should be a pharmaceutical park in Vidarbha region based on the model of Turkey. R & D cost is the biggest expenditure in the pharma industry & this techno park will be very helpful to get the research work done.
Dr Bharatbhushan Shrikahnde, President of AMWA stressed on the Ayurveda segment of the pharma sector. He said that Ayurveda is not old anymore; modern formulations are being done in Ayurvedic industries. We should explore the natural resources available in Vidarbha region to meet the demand of Ayurvedic industries & it will support the local growers. One of the major issues faced by the Ayurvedic industry is availability of genuine herbs and this problem needs to be addressed.
Ravleen Singh Khurana, MD of Nitika Specialities Pvt Ltd shared his views over scope for API & Excipient industries in the country. He said there are two ingredients required for manufacturing of medicine, active ingredient & inactive ingredient. India is importing API from china in huge quantities & it has supported the excipient industry in big nature. India produces 33% of the world’s total medicine demand. If we want to live up to Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji ‘s dream of Atma-Nirbhar Bharat then we have to be vocal for the locals. Also as there is a PLI scheme for APIs there is no PLI scheme for excipients. So in order to make our country a great PHARMA giant we must convert this weakness of ours into strength by setting up a strong excipient park in Nagpur.
Rakesh Khandelwal, of MD Innova Pharmactive Pvt. Ltd. stressed on scope of API Industry, opportunities, challenges and threats. He said Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) or bulk drugs are the principal ingredients for finished pharmaceutical products. But with factory shutdowns in China and disruption in the supply chain, things have again come a full circle. At current prices, these products have again become viable to manufacture in India. This along with the fact that the world has realized that dependence on a single source can cause disruption in the availability of drugs, this realization mainly after the current pandemic of Covid-19. India should use this situation advantage by increasing the production, which eventually will enable India to become an alternative to China in the world market. The potential of APIs Industry is quite bright due to various factors predominantly among them is that the spending on medicines is projected to grow about 10% for the next five years, thus making India the one of the top ten Pharma markets.
Dr. Prakash Itankar, Associate Professor of Department of Pharmacy Nagpur University spoke about the current manpower scenario in the region. He said we need to create a platform for industries & institutions for honing the skills of students. One independent institute for testing & research to be established, earlier the department had one FDA approved lab but due to some circumstances it got closed. If such lab get supported by associations then it will be very helpful for industries & institutions.
Earlier, Girish Deodhar, Chairman – MSME Forum in his opening remarks & welcomed all eminent speakers present from Pharma sector of Vidarbha region. He said, from past few months we are going through a very tough phase due to COVID-19 pandemic. There is an anti China movement in the country, so in view of this, we have taken an initiative to understand how we can establish the import substitute & export oriented units here in Vidarbha region. Keeping in mind atma-nirbhar theme of our Hon. PM Narendra Modi. MSME Minister Hon. Nitin Gakari through numerous webinars appealed to our citizens that for strengthening our economy we should concentrate on setting up new industries under the following two categories Import substitute project i. e. setting up industries of those products which we were importing from China. Last year China did business with India worth about 100 US billion dollars. Export oriented projects i.e. setting up industries of those products which China was exporting to other countries of the world. This business in China last year was worth about 3200 US billion dollars. So the objective of this focused discussion is to understand what are the projects which can be established here in Vidarbha region to strengthen the Pharma sector.
Suresh Rathi, President – VIA in his welcome address said in COVID, the Pharma sector has a major role to play. We will have to come back to old normal. All drug prices are controlled by the Government. It is very unfortunate that Research & Development is very less in India as compared to other countries. There is no proper facility of CETP & Fast changing technology etc are challenges for this sector. China has served this sector with large scale production & prices no one can imagine. But with this initiative we are trying to support the ecosystem of this sector so import substitute & export oriented units can be established and we can contribute our part in the movement of Atma- Nirbhar Bharat.
Vijay Sharma, Secretary of VDMA/AMWA moderated the session.