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Govt approves 11 bulk drug companies under PLI scheme for pharmaceuticals

Published: Feb 26, 2021


NEW DELHI, FEB 26, 2021: THE government has approved 11 companies to manufacture nine Key Starting Materials (KSMs), drug intermediates and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) under the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for bulk drugs.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers on Friday said that the businesses have committed investment of Rs 862.01 crore to set up their plants and will be generating employment for about 1,763 people.

Five companies have been approved to produce the fermentation-based bulk drugs -betamethasone, dexamethasone and prednisolone which are all steroids, and the antibiotics rifampicin and streptomycin.

Natural Biogenex (betamethasone, dexamethasone, prednisolone), SymbiotecPharmalab (prednisolone), Macleods Pharmaceutical (rifampicin), Optimus Drugs (vitamin B1, streptomycin), and Sudarshan Pharma (vitamin B1) were accorded approval.

Meanwhile, six companies were approved for producing three chemical synthesis-based bulk drugs with the intermediary 1,1 Cyclohexane Diacetic Acid being produced by Saraca Laboratories, Emmennar Pharma and Hindys Lab. Aarti Speciality Chemicals (2-Methyl-5NitroImidazole), Meghmani (Para amino phenol) and Sadhana Nitro Chem (para amino phenol) were also approved.

The commercial production is projected to commence from April 1, 2023, onwards and the disbursal of production linked incentive by the government over the six years period would be up to a maximum of Rs. 4,870 crore.

By encouraging local production through the PLI scheme, the government aims to reduce its import dependence on critical bulk drugs or raw material which can be as high as 80-100 per cent. The scheme focuses on setting up greenfield plants at a cost of Rs. 6,940 crore in four different target segments.

The government kicked off the PLI approval for bulk drugs in January. Since then, it has approved a total of 19 applications with committed investment of Rs. 4,623.01 crore.