For producing key drug ingredients, Govt plans to revive old pharma units - (Yahoo!News via NewsPoints Desk)

  • The Indian government is planning to revive old drug manufacturing units that produced key ingredients for crucial medicines in the past, but are now being imported from China, reported Yahoo!News.

  • Over the last three decades, most of the seven to eight manufacturing plants producing as many as 20 ingredients such as penicillin G, erythromycin, rifamycin, tetracycline, citric acid and vitamin B12, were shut down due to "cheaper alternatives from China," according to an industry executive.

  • "The possibility of upgrading and restarting old plants is under consideration of the Department of Pharmaceuticals," the executive added.

  • According to the news source, the idea is to wean away the Indian pharmaceutical industry from its dependence on Chinese imports and strengthen its self-reliance.

  • In response to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Pharmaceuticals constituted a committee under the chairmanship of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) Joint Drug Controller Eswara Reddy to assess and "closely monitor" the situation.

  • The committee has identified 58 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), intermediates and key starting materials (KSMs) where India needs to build self-reliance. "We have the technology for these fermentation-based APIs, KSMs and intermediates," noted a senior government official.

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