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DoP Eyeing Stable & Cost-Effective Supply Chain Through International Collaboration

Written by : Jayati Dubey

November 6, 2023

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As per the draft policy, the DoP seeks to boost the global standing of the Indian pharmaceutical industry through international collaborations for decentralised manufacturing and government-to-government drug distribution initiatives.

To establish a stable and cost-effective supply chain for active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in India, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) is exploring the potential of international collaborations.

This initiative is highlighted in the latest draft National Pharmaceutical Policy (NPP), 2023, which also places a strong emphasis on adopting cutting-edge technologies to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery.

According to the draft policy, the DoP seeks to enhance international collaboration in the pharmaceutical sector to elevate the global standing of the Indian pharmaceutical industry. In doing so, it aims to forge international partnerships for decentralised manufacturing facilities and government-to-government drug distribution initiatives.

The draft policy statement emphasises that understanding international needs and areas of cooperation can foster trust and confidence in Indian pharmaceutical products, increasing their acceptance and creating channels for assessing country-specific requirements. Ultimately, this paves the way for more substantial investments in the sector.

The areas of focus in international collaboration, as outlined in the draft policy, include several key components:

1. Facilitating Market Access: The policy aims to address trade barriers, tariffs, and regulatory hurdles that Indian pharmaceutical companies may encounter when attempting to expand in foreign markets.

2. Efficient and Resilient Supply Chains: International collaboration will involve coordinating with global partners to create more efficient and resilient pharmaceutical supply chains, meeting both domestic and global demands.

3. Research and Capacity Building: Collaboration will extend to partnering with international research institutes and laboratories, facilitating joint research projects, capacity building, skilling, and training that adhere to international quality standards and regulations.

4. API Sourcing and Manufacturing: The policy advocates for collaboration on the sourcing of raw materials, technology sharing, and the establishment of joint ventures for the production of APIs. The aim is to ensure a stable and cost-effective supply chain.

5. Promoting Indian Pharmacopoeia Standards: The draft policy underscores the importance of advocating for the recognition and adoption of Indian pharmacopoeia standards in global pharmaceutical regulations. This will lead to smoother international trade and the harmonisation of quality standards.

6. Global Partnerships: It is expected that the policy will play a role in negotiating trade agreements, technology transfer, intellectual property protection, local manufacturing expansion, international clinical trials, and collaborating with foreign governments and organisations on global health initiatives.

Additionally, the draft policy underscores the significance of enhancing infrastructure and logistics to streamline the distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.

According to the policy, an efficient and robust logistics framework is essential for the seamless distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and streamlining supply chains, the policy aims to minimise transit times, reduce wastage, and enhance the overall efficacy of healthcare delivery.

The policy highlights various focus areas in achieving these goals:

1. Logistics Optimisation: Enhancing end-to-end transport logistics to promote efficiency across the supply chain is a key objective. IT-enabled systems, including AI and machine learning, will support this effort.

2. Quality Assurance: The policy aims to strengthen domestic testing and certification facilities to ensure the delivery of high-quality and safe pharmaceuticals.

3. Compliance with Global Standards: Upgrading Indian industries to meet World Health Organization (WHO)-Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) standards is essential to enable them to compete in global markets.

4. Infrastructure Development: Encouraging the establishment of bulk drug parks and enhancing micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) clusters are crucial components of the policy's strategy.

5. Digitisation: Efforts to digitise available storage capacities region-wise are expected to facilitate real-time decision-making and efficient operations.

6. Manufacturing Excellence: The policy envisions the creation of centres of manufacturing excellence within the National Industrial Corridor. This will leverage India's competitiveness in the value chain and expand the country's manufacturing capabilities.

The draft policy also aims to harness the PM-Gati Shakti National Master Plan Portal to meet the industry's demands and establish the pharmaceutical sector as a global hub.


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