Need to boost local API production for India to become self-reliant in coming years: Unichem

NEW DELHI, Aug 9: Drug firm Unichem Laboratories has called for measures to step up local production of raw materials to produce drugs in order to reduce the country’s dependence on imports, especially from China.
Sharing information with shareholders in company’s annual report for 2019-20, the drug firm said the ongoing coronavirus pandemic calls for concentrated efforts to build upon capacities for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the country.
“Our country is heavily dependent on China for import of most of its APIs. India needs a healthy and financially strong ecosystem to boost manufacture of APIs to remain self-reliant in the years to come,” Unichem Laboratories Chairman and Managing Director Prakash A Mody said.
The present health crisis calls for proactive measures to step up economies of scale in production of intermediates and other key materials, with focus on research and development for APIs, he added.
The procrastination syndrome surely calls for prompt treatment, Mody noted.
“Over-dependence of the Indian pharmaceutical industry on imported APIs exposes it to raw material supply disruptions and pricing volatility,” Mody said.
While the government is working on developing bulk drug manufacturing parks to boost local production and reduce dependence on imports, the company, at its end, is focusing on efficiency and backward integration by ramping up its capacities in APIs and intermediates, he added.
The company is looking to use these APIs for captive consumption, which will give it an edge in the global generics market, Mody said.
The drug firm’s strategic investments in two pharma companies engaged in research and development, marketing and distribution of APIs will help meet the demand of exports for incremental growth, he noted.
Unichem offers a broad portfolio of APIs across various therapeutic areas. It has three manufacturing facilities to cater to the segment.
The Mumbai-based firm also has a sizable presence in finished drug formulation segment.
The global API market is projected to reach USD 268 billion by 2026 from USD 182 billion in 2019, growing at a CAGR of 6 per cent. (PTI)