Increasingly, Gujarati entrepreneurs are now getting their manufacturing plants approved with the World Health Organization (WHO)’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) norms in order to tap a huge potential in the pharma export market.
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The latest data compiled by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) which operates under the Union ministry of health and family welfare showed that with 684, Gujarat houses the highest number of WHO-GMP certified plants in the country. The state accounted for 34% of the total 2,006 such units in India as on May 2019.
With more units getting certified since May, the number now stands over 750, which is far higher than other states, in the opinion of Gujarat Food and Drugs Control Administration (FDCA). On February 2015, there were 423 such plants in Gujarat.
Drugs manufactured at WHO-GMP plants are allowed by several nations (mainly African and Southeast Asian) to enter their respective markets except for the USA and European counties.
Gujarat FDCA commissioner HG Koshia reported, “This shows that an increased number of pharma companies from the state are looking at international markets.”
He added, “Other reasons for the high number of WHO-GMP plants in Gujarat are good governance, early access to pharmaceutical sector education and skilled manpower, local availability of machinery for pharma plants, government support, and good regulatory practices.” Around 1,500 pharma plants, Gujarat has, including those for contract manufacturing.
“Gujarati entrepreneurs have always been ruling the export market, especially in pharma space. There is a huge potential in exports and an increasing number of entrepreneurs are getting their plants WHO-GMP approved,” said Atul Shah, treasurer, Gujarat State Board, Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA).
He also said, “Guajarati’s settled in African countries also own many pharma companies. Having WHO-GMP certified plants in India also help create more business synergies with those firms in Africa.”
Double-Digit Growth in exports of pharmaceutical products has been recorded by the state. Gujarat accounts for minimum 28% of India’s pharma exports, which stood at US$ 19.15 billion (approximately Rs 1.33 lakh crore in 2018-19)
In consideration of this share, the state’s pharma exports stood US$ 5.36 billion (Rs 37,321 crore) in 2018-19 as against US$ 4.83 billion (Rs 33,631 crore) in fiscal 2017-18. Koshia added, “Gujarat also leads in the production of quality drugs. If 100 samples of drugs produced in Gujarat are tested, only 1.6% fails the quality test. The national average of the same is 5%.”
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