Pharma industry to be considered on drug price control: ASSOCHAM

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New Delhi, Mar 10 (ANI): The government will not take any decision on drug price control without holding discussions with the pharmaceutical industry and other stakeholders, Union Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Hansraj Gangaram Ahir said at an ASSOCHAM event in Delhi.

“We take every step very carefully when it comes to the issue of drug price control as we do not want to take even a single step without holding discussions with the industry,” said Ahir while inaugurating ‘MEDCON 2016,’ organized by ASSOCHAM.

He said that government wants the prices of medicines to be affordable for general public, but at the same it wants the industry to flourish. “We need to promote the industry for sure, this is certain.”

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The minister also said that the government will soon come out with a policy on medical devices.

Terming India as the ‘medical store of the world,’ the minister said that there are over 10,000 big and small drug manufacturing industries across the country. “We are exporting drugs into over 200 countries, it is a big achievement.”

However, he said that it is concerning to note that over 5,000 industries engaged in drug manufacturing do not carry out research and development process, which is the need of the hour.

In his address at the ASSOCHAM event, Jagdish Prasad, Director General of Health Services said that with a view to perk up drug manufacturing standards in India, the government has asked drug manufacturers to set up research and development (Research and Development) system to ensure they follow quality standards.

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“Drug manufacturers should either have a Research and Development system of their own or they should be attached to Research and Development, which is available in other industries, without Research and Development they should not manufacture drugs, we are trying to put this to drug manufacturers across the country to have high quality drugs available with them,” said Prasad.

He also said that India has the potential to produce much better medical devices compared to those being manufactured in China.

“Most of the Chinese equipment used in medical system, be it monitors, ventilators and others, we can produce much better medical equipments compared to China,” said Prasad.

“Today, India is totally dependent on medical devices imported either from China or from European countries, hardly any medical device is made for diagnostics set up which we can produce and export in the country,” he added. (ANI)

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