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India will back pharma SMEs in $500m finance scheme

By Natalie Morrison , 20-Nov-2012
Last updated on 20-Nov-2012 at 14:01 GMT

The Indian Government will offer financial support to the 8,000 small to mid-sized pharmaceutical producers in India
The Indian Government will offer financial support to the 8,000 small to mid-sized pharmaceutical producers in India

The Indian Government plans to offer financial assistance to small and medium pharma enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to drive the industry.

Speaking at CPhI, Secretary of Commerce S R Rao told us authorities plan to invest $500m of public money into 8,000 manufacturers working in India.

The money will be split between 25 life science clusters, and will see the establishment of mitigation and common security centres for SME use.

He said the Government hopes boosting infrastructures will help drive the sector, adding that the high volume of smaller firms out there means big potential for growth.

“What is exciting now is that there is a large number – close to 8,000 companies – who fall in the crack of SMEs. That’s where we need to provide infrastructure support,” he said.

Explaining why the programme does not include support for the many Big Pharma producers working in India, he said: “We are not looking at the big boys of the sector who have big pockets and can take care of themselves.”

Funding for improved compliance?

in-PharmaTechnologist.com also asked Additional Secretary of the Department of Commerce Rajeev Kher whether recent manufacturing problems in the region were in part the result of a lack of Government funding.

Kher disagreed with the notion of “problems” in the sector saying: “In question of quality India has a very robust system of regulatory compliance and whatever is getting exposure I’m sure they (companies) are conforming to regulatory systems.”

He added however that the industry is becoming increasingly conscious of complying with World Health Organisation’s (WHO) “higher and higher” current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) standards, and that the upcoming programmes to help manufacturers can only drive this attitude.

Talking specifically about the manufacture of products for export to other countries, he added: “More companies find themselves in a position to comply with regulatory standards, and that positions the company in a better stead to be able to supply for other markets.”

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