Drugs and pharmaceutical industry occupies an important place in the Indian economy. It has made tremendous progress in terms of infrastructure development, technology base creation and production. Today, the industry is manufacturing practically the entire range of the therapeutic products. It is also capable of producing raw materials for the manufacture of a large number of bulk drugs from the basic stage as well as pharma machinery and equipments. The industry has achieved global recognition as a low cost producer of quality bulk drugs and formulations. Many leading Indian companies have established marketing and manufacturing activities in more than 60 countries world over.
In India, the Department of Chemicals & Petro-Chemicals, in the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, is the concerned authority for the drugs and phamaceutical sector. The Department aims at ensuring abundant availability of good quality pharmaceuticals of mass consumption, at reasonable prices within the country. It also formulates and implements policies and programmes for achieving growth and development of chemicals, petro-chemical and pharmaceuticals in the country.
In order to attract investment into the sector, the Department has undertaken several initiatives. The major being the Pharmaceutical Policy, with the objective of:-
- Strengthening the indigenous capability for cost effective quality production and exports of pharmaceuticals by reducing barriers to trade in the pharmaceutical sector.
- Strengthening the system of quality control over drug and pharmaceutical production and distribution to make quality an essential attribute of the Indian pharmaceutical industry and promoting rational use of pharmaceuticals.
- Encouraging R&D in the pharmaceutical sector in a manner compatible with the country’s needs and with particular focus on diseases endemic or relevant to India by creating an environment conducive to channelising a higher level of investment into R&D in pharmaceuticals in India.
- Creating an incentive framework for the pharmaceutical industry which promotes new investment into the pharmaceutical industry and encourages the introduction of new technologies and new drugs
As per all such initiatives, foreign Direct Investment (FDI) upto 100% is permitted (subject to stipulations laid down from time to time) through the automatic route in the case of all bulk drugs cleared by Drug Controller General (India) along with all their intermediates and formulations.
Besides, advantages like the accumulated knowledge of traditional medicinal system; large bio-diversity; world class technology; etc. are a source of several investment opportunities in the sector.