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NEW DELHI : Maharashtra, which accounts for around 20% of India’s pharmaceutical output, plans to set up a bulk drug park in Raigad district at an initial investment of 2,442 crore to boost manufacturing of raw materials for medicines in the country.

The Indian Drugs Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) has received a proposal from D.R. Gahane, joint commissioner of the Maharashtra food and drug administration, for the development of a bulk drug park in Raigad district. The park aims to develop a cluster of bulk drug manufacturing units.

“The estimated cost of park construction will be about 2,442 crore, with the Central government funding 1,000 crore and state government putting in 1,442 crore," a communication by Maharashtra FDA said. The letter was reviewed by Mint. The park will help India achieve self-reliance in pharmaceutical manufacturing, the letter added.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry, the third largest in the world by volume, is dependent on raw material imports to produce medicines. In specific drugs, the import dependence is as high as 100%, and any disruption in supplies can significantly hurt India’s drug security.

The basic amenities in the proposed bulk drug park will include a common effluent treatment plant, solid waste management, stormwater drains, a common solvent storage system, and a safety and hazardous operations audit centre.

“We have received a proposal from Maharashtra FDA for bulk drug parks in the state. For APIs, we need land, good factories and effluent treatment plants. The government will give all these important things in the park at the subsides rates, and that’s how people will get encouraged to create a new product because all the existing companies do not have a place to expand," said Daara Patel, secretary general, IDMA.

Maharashtra attracted about 30% of the FDI in the pharmaceuticals sector in the past decade and is the leading exporter of bulk drugs and intermediates in India, accounting for about 20% of India’s exports. It also leads in vaccine production and is the only state with major pharma clusters in Mumbai, Tarapur, Pune, Nasik and Aurangabad. Besides, plants making auxiliary chemicals used in key pharma products are present in the state.

The department of pharmaceuticals is implementing the scheme for the promotion of bulk drug parks with the aim of achieving drug security and reducing dependence on imports. Under the scheme, the government is offering finance to develop common infrastructure facilities of the bulk drug parks.

The Central government has already initiated work on three bulk drug parks in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

Queries sent to the department of pharmaceuticals spokesperson did not elicit any response.

Mint earlier reported that the Central government has set up a high-level committee headed by Mansukh Mandaviya, union minister of chemical and fertilizer, to monitor the progress of bulk drug parks that are being set up in three states.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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