Indore : It’s quite alarming that the growth rate of small pharam units is still in the negative zone since 3 years. Moreover, over 125 such units have been forced to shut down. The amendments in the Drug and Cosmetics Act in 2008 have proved to a boom for the small units of the vital health care sector.

There are over 250 pharma units in MP out of which 120 units are established in Pithampur and Indore. These units are engaged in the production of tablets, injectables, ointments, repacking and sanitizers.

Talking to Free Press, Sunil Ajmera, proprietor of the Sunage Pharmaceutical, says that the amendments made in the year 2008 in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, brought a cascading effects for the Pharma units of the state.

The state government made mandatory to purchase drugs for government hospitals only from the Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliant companies.

The amendments proved to boomerang for the small scale industries of the state and ultimately lead to the closure of over 50% of such units. Several micro units surrendered their licenses saying that they are unable to comply with such a heavy investment prone laws.

Young entrepreneur Ajmera alleges that in fact the amendments were made under the pressure of the multinational pharma companies. Their ultimate aim was to keep away the local units from the purchase of drugs by the government.

Though, while making amendments in the Act, the state government had made several announcements to give relief to the micro and small pharma units, but this could not happen. Ultimately they were left to perish. The units which managed to survive from 2008 to 2012, are still working, but the FDA (Food and Drug Administration Department) did not renew the license of those units which could not upgrade themselves as per the amended act were bound to lapse in 2012.

It may be recalled that the pharma units in the state are majorly located in Indore, Pithampur, Sagar, Dewas and Gwalior. But after 2008 as many as 50% units of these areas have been forced to shut down. Only 125 units out of 250 units located in Pithampur and Indore have shut down.

Ajmera alleges that attitude of the officials of the FDA is quite non-cooperative. The applications are not processed even for 2 months, while it is said that the department has gone online, the fact is that the online applications are not processed. There is no nodal officer who could act as the industry friend in the department.

Talking about the Sunage Pharmaceutical, Ajmera said that the units engage in production of different kind of sanitizers, which are being supplied to all the leading hospitals of the state for their operation theaters.

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