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Parl Panel Demands Increased Funding Outlay for Key Pharma Initiatives

Written by : Jayati Dubey

January 3, 2024

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The Committee restated its prior recommendation, highlighting that the absence of funds for new schemes would negatively affect the development and expansion of the NIPER scheme.

In a recent review, the Parliamentary Panel overseeing fund allocation to the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has emphasised its recommendation for increased government funding for new initiatives.

These initiatives include the establishment of the National Institute of Medical Devices Education and Research (NIMERs) and the Indian Council of Research & Development and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector (ICPMR).

The committee expressed concern over the silence on fund allocation for these new schemes in the Ministry's response.

The Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chemicals and Fertilisers, led by Lok Sabha member Dr Shashi Tharoor, underscored the importance of allocating funds for these initiatives, urging a financial boost for the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) scheme.

In its previous fiscal year (2023-24) proposal, the DoP sought an allocation of INR 1,286 Cr, including funds for NIMERs, CoEs, ICPMR, and the Promotion of Research & Innovation in the Pharmaceutical Sector (PRIP). However, no funds were allocated for these new initiatives, with only INR 550 Cr designated for NIPERs.

The Committee reiterated its earlier recommendation, stating that the absence of fund allocations for new schemes would adversely impact the progress and growth of the NIPER scheme.

The Committee's initial report emphasised the importance of increased funds for the NIPER scheme and establishing a NIPER in a Southern State where interest in pharmaceutical education is high.

The DoP, in response, noted the committee's concerns and recommendations, providing updates on the initiation of the PRIP scheme but remained silent on the allocation of funds for other new initiatives.

It's worth noting that the government introduced the PRIP scheme in August to support research and development, and innovation in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and animal health segments.

The scheme, with a total financial outlay of INR 5,000 Cr for 2023-24 to 2027-2028, includes Component A, focusing on enhancing research infrastructure by establishing Centers of Excellence (CoEs) at NIPERs.

These CoEs will specialise in core areas of Pharma MedTech research, including antiviral and antibacterial drug discovery, medical devices, bulk drugs, flow chemistry, continuous manufacturing, novel drug delivery systems, phytopharmaceuticals, and biological therapeutics.

The Component B of the scheme has a financial outlay of INR 4,300 Cr and aims to support startups and new entrants in the pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.

The PRIP scheme is a significant step towards fostering innovation and research in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors in India.


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