Context: The Technology Information Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC) has released a report titled ‘Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients- Status, Issues, Technology Readiness, and Challenges’.
- The pharmaceutical industry in India is third largest in the world, in terms of volume, behind China and Italy, and fourteenth largest in terms of value.
- It has a strong network of 3,000 drug companies and about 10,500 manufacturing units with a domestic turnover of Rs 1.4 lakh crore (USD 20.03 billion) in 2019, with exports to more than 200 countries in the world.
- However due to availability of cheap imports, the local manufacturing of APIs is very less.
- Of the total imports of APIs and intermediates into India, China accounts for 65-70%.
- Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) is a substance or mixture of substances contained in a medicine that is intended to cause pharmacological activity.
- Such high dependence calls for scaling indegenous API production in the country.
Key recommendations of the report:
- Focus on engineering and scale aspects of economic development.
- Create mega drug manufacturing clusters with common infrastructure in India.
- Reducing process steps in development of biocatalysis for cost optimization
- Attention needs to be paid to technologies like hazardous reactions, flow chemistry, cryogenic reactions, and membrane technology.
- Investment in priority areas like fermentation sector and scale supporting techno-economic feasibility is desired.
- Government encouragement of Indian companies working in chemical segments such as steroids, amino acids, carbohydrates, nucleosides, etc. is required
- Along with the report, a white paper titled ‘Focused Interventions for Make in India : Post COVID 19’ was also released -
- It brought out the strengths, market trends, and opportunities in five Sectors, including Healthcare, which are critical from the country's perspective.
- It called for decreasing Chinese reliance on importing APIs and making the country self-reliant in production.
TIFAC (Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council):
- It was formed as a registered Society in February, 1988.
- It is an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology.
- It is mandated to assess the state-of-art of technology and set directions for future technological development in India in important socio-economic sectors.
- As a unique knowledge network institution in India, TIFAC activities encompass a wide array of technology areas and fill a critical gap in the overall S&T system of India.
- The organization has -
- Carried out technology foresight exercise,
- Facilitated and supported technology development;
- Prepared technology linked business opportunity reports and
- Implemented mission-mode programmes.
Image Source: PIB