NPP to tap international collaborations, enhancement of supply chain infrastructure to support pharma growth

NPP to tap international collaborations, enhancement of supply chain infrastructure to support pharma growth

Posted on November 10, 2023 Updated on November 6, 2023

In an effort to ensure a stable and cost-effective supply chain for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the country, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) may look at tapping the potential of international collaborations for sourcing of raw materials and manufacturing of ingredients in the country.

It is also aiming at using cutting-edge technologies and streamlining supply chains to cut short the transit times, reduce wastage and enhance the overall efficacy of healthcare delivery, reveals the latest draft National Pharmaceutical Policy (NPP), 2023.

As part of strengthening the international collaboration in the sector to boost the global standing of Indian pharmaceutical industry, the department is also looking at forging international partnerships for decentralized manufacturing facilities and government-to-government drug distribution initiatives.

“Understanding international needs and areas of cooperation can build trust and confidence in Indian pharmaceutical products. Further, it can significantly increase acceptance and create channels to assess country-specific needs, ultimately paving the way for more substantial investments in the sector,” said the draft policy.

The efforts aimed in the area of international collaboration include facilitating market access for Indian pharmaceutical companies in foreign countries by addressing trade barriers, tariffs and regulatory hurdles; coordinating with international partners to create more efficient and resilient pharma supply chain for both the domestic and global demand; collaborating institutes such as National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) with international research institutes and laboratories for joint research projects, capacity building, skilling and training in compliance with international quality standards and regulations among others.

“Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are essential components of pharmaceutical products. Collaboration on sourcing raw materials, sharing technology, and establishing joint ventures to manufacture APIs, ensuring a stable and cost-effective supply chain,” it added.

It also aims growth in the sector through advocating for the recognition and adoption of Indian pharmacopeia standards in global pharmaceutical regulations, facilitating smoother international trade and harmonization of quality standards and negotiating trade agreements and partners and collaborating with international partners to promote and expand the reach of Indian pharmaceutical and medical device products and companies worldwide with assistance from Pharmexcil.

The other areas where the policy will focus on include negotiating trade agreements and partnerships for advanced technology transfer, IPR protection, expanding local manufacturing plants, international clinical trials among others, and promoting health diplomacy by collaborating with foreign governments and organisations on global health initiatives such as vaccine distribution, disease control, and pandemic response.

As part of enhancing the infrastructure and strengthening of logistics, the policy recognised that an efficient and robust logistics framework is indispensable for the seamless distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

“By investing in cutting-edge technologies and streamlining supply chains, the policy aims to minimize transit times, reduce wastage, and enhance the overall efficacy of healthcare delivery,” it added. The policy adds that it would look at optimising end-to-end transport logistics to promote efficiency across the supply chain and supported by IT enabled systems including artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The areas of policy in this direction include strengthening domestic testing and certification facilities to ensure high-quality and safe pharmaceuticals; upgradation of Indian Industries infrastructure to include World Health Organization (WHO)-Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards so as to enable them to participate and compete in global markets, and encouraging the establishment of bulk drug parks and enhance MSME clusters.

It would also focus on efforts to digitise available capacities of storage region-wise shall facilitate real-time decision making and efficient operations. The National Industrial Corridor shall complement creation of centres of manufacturing excellence with integrated facilities to enable companies to leverage India’s competitiveness in the value chain and increase India’s manufacturing prowess beyond generics, it added.

The Policy also seeks to effectively leverage the PM-Gati Shakti National Master Plan Portal in meeting the various demands of the industry in establishing the pharma sector as a global hub, said the department.

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