India’s Department of Pharmaceuticals is working to establish a venture capital fund to offer affordable loans to small and marginal companies planning to set up new units in the pharmaceutical sector.
This will encourage pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to upgrade their production processes to match global standards. The fund is worth Rp500 crores (US$ 74. 95 million) which will support these facilities in terms of loans and subsidies.
This can prove to be a massive boost for the Indian populace as it can drive down the prices of medicine, making healthcare more affordable.
A senior government official associated this plan to India’s ‘’Make In India’’ initiative. ‘’ Make in India’’ is a government initiative launched in late 2014 by the Ministry of Finance in order to encourage multinational and domestic companies to manufacture their products in India.
"Following the Make in India theme we want to boost our domestic output in the pharma sector. It is felt that there is a need to provide loans or subsidies to the companies for upgrading their technologies as per global standards," said the official.
In addition to financial support, the government is also working on setting up parks for pharma products and medical device parks. It is also planning to increase generic medical outlet stores across India to 3000.
This plan will also facilitate research which can enable the discovery of new drugs. As a nation well equipped with capable scientists and engineers, Indian’s high potential in medicinal research can be expressed when investments in its R & D is in place.
Former advisor of India’s Department of Science and Technology, GJ Samanatham, echoes the sentiment of India’s potential.
"India has a great role to play in novel drug discovery. Our scientists must take up high-risk and high resource-oriented long-term research." he said.
The government is proposing to partner the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research with private firms to facilitate drug discovery . Such institutions are expected to rise over the next five years.