Kerala Chemists association to start drug manufacturing
The All Kerala Chemists and Druggists Association is all set to enter into drug manufacturing by rolling out 10 new products from November 1, — the Kerala Formation Day.
The higher prices of drugs being brought from outside have prompted the association to commence production. It plans to sell drugs to consumers at competitive prices, said AN Mohanan, president, AKCDA.
He said that about 90 per cent of the drugs sold in Kerala are coming from other States and high raw material costs have prompted these companies to hike prices at regular intervals.
According to him, the manufacturing facility of Kaino Pharm set up on the pharmacy college campus operated by AKCDA in Ernakulam will be utilised for the purpose.
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To start with, the association has made an initial investment of ₹5 crore, which would be increased for further needs. The initial 10 products include hand sanitiser, disinfectant and essential drugs such as paracetamol tablets, he said.
The drug sales in Kerala is estimated in the range between ₹12,000-15,000 crore with a growth of 15 per cent. However, drug consumption in Covid times dropped by 20-30 per cent especially for antibiotics and anti-inflamatory drugs. But the usage of medicines for life-style diseases has not declined, he told.
Currently, there is no drug production in the private sector and the state-owned Drugs and Pharmaceuticals firm based in Alappuzha is in this segment. But it lacks proper strategy to tap the market, he said adding that AKCDA is targeting a turnover ₹100 crore in the first year of operations.
Approvals in place
The association has received necessary approvals for production and distribution license. Initially, it plans to launch 10 products and would start manufacturing drugs for lifestyle diseases in the second year, he added.
Ravi S Menon, former State Drugs Controller, is one of the directors of the company which has tied up with a Thrissur based pharmaceutical unit for drug production, Mohanan said.
With products in hand, AKCDA said they could serve the burgeoning Kerala market with products at very competitive prices by cutting out middlemen, he added.