Over 340 ‘irrational’ drugs to go off shelves soon; many more under scanner

Source: Business Standard, Jul 26, 2018

Mumbai / New Delhi: The Centre is one step closer to banning 343 “irrational” fixed-dose combination (FDC) drugs that were potentially harmful to consumers. The market size of the banned drugs is estimated to be around Rs 20-22 billion and will impact the country’s top drugmakers.

Patient advocacy groups say more FDCs, worth Rs 200-250 billion, are under scanner. An FDC drug is one that contains two or more active ingredients in a fixed-dosage ratio. Read the rest of this entry »

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E-commerce players brace for big battle over online pharma

Source: The Economic Times, Jul 20, 2018

BENGALURU: Online pharma retail is becoming the next battleground for ecommerce players seeking to build a high-frequency play in India.

Flipkart, Amazon, BigBasket and Swiggy are all in exploratory talks to acquire, partner or invest in online pharma players including MedPlus, 1mg, Medlife, PharmEasy and Myra, according to entrepreneurs, investors and industry executives ET spoke with. For the ecommerce leaders, the online medicine-delivery category represents a significant strategic opportunity given easing regulations and its potential to drive repeat orders — a feature that has endeared grocery to Flipkart and Amazon.

Amazon has held talks with 3-4 online pharma players, including Medlife and MedPlus, according to people familiar with the developments. Medlife, run by the founding family of pharmaceutical company Alkem Labs, has held discussions with Flipkart as well, sources said. Read the rest of this entry »

Cabinet approves MoU between India and Indonesia

Source: IBEF.org, Jul 19, 2018

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its ex-post facto approval for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), India and National Agency for Drug and Food Control (BPOM), Indonesia on cooperation in the field of pharmaceutical products, pharmaceutical substances, biological product and cosmetics regulatory functions. The MoU was on signed on 29th May, 2018 in Jakarta.

The MoU is expected to forge better understanding about each other’s regulatory requirements and would be beneficial to both the countries. It could also facilitate India’s export of pharmaceutical products. Read the rest of this entry »

Govt aims to boost small pharma firms with 6% interest relief on loans

download (3)Source: LiveMint.com, Jul 03, 2018

New Delhi: The Union government is ready to roll out an interest subvention scheme for small pharma companies, who wish to upgrade their infrastructure and technology. Under the scheme, the government will bear interest burden of 6% on loans up to 4 crore for a period of three years.

The department of pharmaceuticals (DoP), which has proposed the scheme, has budgeted «¤??144 crore for 2018-20, and aims to help around 250 pharma small and medium enterprises (SMEs), according to documents reviewed by Mint.

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Government mulls injecting Rs 4.6 bn into pharma to reduce bulk drugs cost

Source: Business Standard, Jun 25, 2018

New Delhi: The government has proposed over Rs 460 crore support for the development of pharmaceuticals industry with an aim to reduce cost of bulk drugs and medical devices through setting up of common facility centres and to help SMEs upgrade technology.

Announcing guidelines for five sub-schemes under the pharma development programme, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) said the objective is to reduce cost of production by 20-25 per cent in bulk drug parks.

Similarly, for medical devices also, the aim is to bring down the cost of production significantly in the dedicated medical device parks, thereby leading to better availability and affordability in the domestic market.

The government is looking at providing assistance to bulk drug industry by setting up common facility centres which is proposed as a central sector scheme with a total size of Rs 200 crore for 2018-2020, the DoP said in an announcement on its website. Read the rest of this entry »

Lax industry norms, tough entry process slows pharma exports to China

New Delhi: Exports to China of pharmaceuticals, a sector considered crucial to India’s plans of reducing its trade deficit with its northern neighbour, remain restricted due to lax industry standards, high costs, and regulatory gridlock, according to a latest government report.

After being assured of greater market access by Chinese authorities in March, India had pinned its hopes on boosting its pharma exports from the low $41 million worth of exports registered in 2017-18. But numerous instances of data falsification and inadequate documentation by the industry, and high export costs, delays due to procedural issues are still holding back the sector.

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GST notices to pharma firms on free supply to have wider ramifications

Source: Business Standard, May 31, 2018

New Delhi: Notices sent by the tax department to major pharma companies over not cutting the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on free supplies to retailers are likely to have repercussions on fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies as well, warn tax experts, who found no ground for the notices.The notices sent by the Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGI) say that some free supplies of drugs – injections, tablets, syrups – have been made to stockists and retailers without charging GST on them.

Abhishek Rastogi, partner with Khaitan & Co said: “The issue of free supplies will have wider implications on diverse sectors, including FMCG and apparels. This means that the implications could arise whenever discount is offered by way of a quantity discount.”

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