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Boost to Pharma and MedTech Industry: 27 Greenfield Bulk Drug Parks, 13 Manufacturing Plants Inaugurated

New Delhi: Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers and Health & Family Welfare, virtually inaugurated 27 greenfield bulk drug park projects and 13 greenfield manufacturing plants for medical devices, marking a significant stride towards enhancing self-reliance in critical healthcare sectors.

In his address, Dr. Mandaviya underscored the essential role of medicines in any society, emphasizing the challenges highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, including disruptions in the supply chain and overdependence on imports for critical resources like bulk drugs and medical devices. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, inaugurated virtually, emerged from extensive discussions within the Union Government to address these concerns.

Expressing his satisfaction with the inauguration of the greenfield projects under the PLI scheme, the Union Minister highlighted India’s achievement in reducing dependence on medicines, active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), and medical devices. He noted that India has not only met its domestic requirements but is also becoming a major exporter in these sectors.

The PLI-I scheme, which identified 48 critical bulk drugs for local manufacturing, achieved notable success, leading to the launch of the Rs. 15,000 crore PLI-II scheme. Dr. Mandaviya explained that the PLI-II scheme aims to enhance India’s cost competitiveness for medicines and medical products in the global market.

Drawing attention to India’s historical strength in pharmaceuticals, Dr. Mandaviya referenced Penicillin G, a widely used drug that was locally manufactured in India until the late 1980s. Globalization led to the closure of local plants, resulting in dependence on imports. The Union Government is now working to bring back the production of Penicillin G to India after three decades.

Rajesh Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, highlighted the government’s approach to turning the COVID-19 crisis into an opportunity, emphasizing self-reliance, innovation, and infrastructure development. The PLI scheme is aligned with this vision, aiming to localize and add value to India’s pharmaceutical and MedTech industry while reducing dependency on critical resources from specific geographies.

Dr. Arunish Chawla, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, provided a detailed overview of the PLI scheme, highlighting the robust growth of the drug and pharmaceutical industry in India over the last decade. Under the PLI scheme, 1800 pharmaceutical products and formulations and 22 bulk drugs will be manufactured in India, contributing to the nation’s self-sufficiency.

It was noted that prior to the PLI scheme, India imported 90% of medical devices. Following the introduction of the PLI scheme, there was a significant reduction in net imports of medical devices in 2023, signaling positive strides towards self-reliance in this critical sector.

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