Sales of drugs for chronic ailments has increased since demonetisation, as patients tend to stock up medicines by exchanging old notes at pharmacies.Wikimedia commons

The Indian government is likely to invest Rs. 600 crore for creating manufacturing facilities for three new bulk drug parks. The government's move to boost the bulk drug or Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) manufacturing facilities is aimed to reduce the imports from China that meet 80 percent of India's requirements.

The Minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, informed Parliament on Friday that the government is assessing the financial viability of providing Rs. 200 crore each to three greenfield bulk drug/ Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) parks, the Press Trust of India reported.

Bulk drugs or APIs are the raw materials which are used by pharma companies in the manufacture of medicines.

The government had constituted a committee headed by former health secretary V.M Katoch to frame the much-awaited bulk drug manufacturing policy. "The committee has since submitted its recommendations. After examining the recommendations, government is now looking into the financial viability of supporting the proposal for providing assistance for common minimum facilities for three greenfield bulk drugs/API parks to the extent of Rs. 200 crore each," Ahir said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

After the Katoch committee submitted its proposal to the government, it was agreed upon that six new bulk drug parks would be set up across the country.

The minister, however, did not identify the three out of these six new bulk drug parks, which would receive the funds.

The panel has also recommended to the government a package that provides incentives and tax concessions to bulk drug manufacturers in India so that the domestic production receives a boost.

The committee has also recommended setting up facilities like storage, testing laboratories, IPR management, designing and guest house/accommodation maintained by a separate special purpose vehicle (SPV).

Ahir added that the government is also coordinating with the Ministry of environment, forests and climate change and the Ministry of commerce and industry to address the issues faced by bulk drug manufacturers related to environment.