Government to establish R&D centre for bulk drugs at NIPER

The Union government is establishing a National Centre for Research & Development in Bulk Drug (NCRDBD) at National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Hyderabad, to fill the significant void in R&D in bulk drugs. The government has approved the project which will cost over Rs 52 crore and require an operating cost of over Rs 37 crore for 5 years.

The role of bulk drug sector is critical to overall efficiency and cost competitiveness of the pharmaceutical sector. There are around 2,500 bulk drugs manufacturing units in India. The estimated turnover of the bulk drug industry in 2012-13 was around $ 12.5 billion. The industry has registered a Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17% in the last 3 years and has a share of about 10% of the global bulk drugs market of about $ 110 billion. However, the import of bulk drugs has recorded a CAGR of 18% during last 3 years pointing an increasing level of dependence on foreign supply for this vital input of pharmaceutical sector.

The condition looks more complicated taking into account the fact that more than 60% share in imports of intermediate for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) is imported from China.

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