Modicare to be part of India’s new pharma policy

Source:, Feb 16, 2018

Bengaluru: India’s ambitious National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), dubbed “Modicare”, proposed in the Union Budget 2018, will be part of a pharmaceutical policy to be announced soon.

In what is claimed to be the world’s largest such scheme, the government proposes to provide health cover of up to Rs5 lakh per year to 500 million people from financially vulnerable households for free treatment of serious ailments. The budget has set aside an allocation of Rs2,000 crore for the scheme in 2018-19.

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Govt may cap trade margins to control drug prices

Source:, Feb 14, 2018

New Delhi: The government is planning to cap how much drug retailers and wholesalers can earn on medicines they sell in an effort to arrest rising drug prices.

The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has recommended an increase in trade margins, or what wholesalers and retailers earn on the sale of medicines, on all drugs with maximum retail price (MRP) above Rs2 per unit—i.e. per tablet, capsule, vial, tube, bottle, injection, etc.—while retaining it at the current level of 30% for those priced below Rs2, two people aware of the matter said.

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Indian pharma firms renew focus; Dr Reddy’s, Cipla eye $100-bn China market

download (1)Source: Business Standard, Feb 14, 2018

Mumbai / Ahmedabad: Dr Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL) is expanding its presence in China, the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market, where other drug manufacturers such as Cipla and Lupin are exploring opportunities.

The more than $100-billion China market is dominated by local drug manufacturers and multinationals and India’s pharmaceutical exports of around $160 million are a fraction of the companies’ sales.But recent changes in regulation allowing quicker product approval and growth opportunities in China have been drivers for Indian companies.

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Indian drug firms’ growth slowed in 2017 on slow approvals, MNCs’ caught up

download (1)Source: Business Standard, Feb 07, 2018

Ahmedabad: Home-grown pharmaceutical companies in 2017 saw some erosion in their edge over multinational peers in the domestic drug market. Tempering the past year’s trend of a significant lead, Indian drug firms grew at almost the same rate as their MNC counterparts.

While Indian pharma players clocked a 5.54 per cent growth rate during 2017, multinational ones grew at a shade higher (5.55 per cent rate), show data. This was partly because overall pharma growth slowed during the year, thanks to several factors, even as multinational companies saw a few months of high growth with specialised product (3).jpg

According to data sourced from AWACS, the market research wing of the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) which represents over 500,000 medicine sellers across the country, the Indian pharma market (IPM) clocked 5.5 per cent growth in moving annual turnover (MAT) value – the lowest rate in eight years.

In 2016, IPM had grown 10.68 per cent – home-grown companies, with 11.85 per cent growth, had beaten the industry rate, while multinational firms with a presence in the domestic market had clocked 6.42 per cent growth.

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Govt may tighten labelling norms for generic drugs

In a bid to promote low-cost generic medicines, the health ministry plans to make it mandatory for pharma firms to carry the generic names of drugs in letters that are two font sizes larger than the brand name.

A notification to this effect is likely to come out soon. Once notified under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, any violation will be punishable under the law.

Fixed dose combinations (FDCs) of vitamins and other drugs containing three or more drugs, will be exempted from the new labelling rules.“For vitamins and FDCs containing three or more drugs, the brand name or the trade name shall be written in brackets below or after the proper name. The rest of the packs of drugs shall carry the proper name of the drug or fixed dose combination drug at least two fonts larger than the brand name or the trade name,” said a person with direct knowledge of the matter on condition of anonymity.

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26% dip in drug ingredient import from China

Source: The Economic Times, Jan 22, 2018

India’s efforts to reduce reliance on China for drug ingredients are slowly showing results, but concerns of over-dependence on it — pointed out by national security advisor Ajit Doval — still remain.

In 2017, India imported 354 Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) from China, a 26% dip compared to 447 in 2015, largely achieved because the number of countries India imported such material from increased from 44 in 2015 to 58 in 2016 and 59 in 2017.

The number of APIs imported from China has grown slightly compared to 2016 (316) though. Also, import from China is still the highest in this category, accounting for 66% of all imports in 2017 — Rs 12,254.97 crore of the Rs 18,372.54 crore. The trend has remained similar in all the three years. Read the rest of this entry »

Domestic medical device makers seek hike in basic custom duty

Source: The Hindu Business Line, Jan 11, 2018

New Delhi: The government needs to increase the basic customs duty on medical devices in the range of 5-15 per cent to promote domestic manufacturing, Association of Indian Medical Device Industry (AiMeD) said on Thursday.The current slab is 0-7.5 per cent, it said.

“The government has rightly revised custom duty on Electronics to up to 20 per cent recently to maintain the investment climate, and same is sought for Medical Electronics where import dependency is 90 per cent,” AiMeD Forum Coordinator Rajiv Nath told PTI.

He said nominal import duty on critical items is not protectionism but sound ‘Make in India’ economics.

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