Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or bulk drugs are the primary ingredient in the manufacture of medicines, which produce the intended effect to cure the disease.
The Tamil Nadu government had announced the setting up of an API park in the State. The proposal was mooted to reduce the dependency on foreign countries, from where these raw materials are imported. The absence of such a facility was especially felt during the pandemic lockdown when there was travel restrictions.
A 650 acre land has been identified in Cheyyar in Tiruvannamalai district for the establishment of the park, which is estimated to cost about Rs 770 crore, officials said, adding that the application seeking approval for the plant will be processed after the inspection of the land and the facilities available.
“The Industries Department is undertaking the combined inspection of land, water facility and electricity,” said an official from the department.
Once the park is set up, the manufacture of these active components would be done within Tamil Nadu, which in turn would help the pharma companies here, said officials from the State Drug Control Authority.
“The manufacture of a lot of essential medicines was affected during the pandemic, as the ingredients could not be imported due to travel restrictions that were in force,” said Drug Controller K Sivabalan.
More than 80 per cent of the drug ingredients are imported from China. This seriously hampered medicine production during the lockdown, and the need for an indigenous facility to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients in the State was felt then.
“The ingredients are mostly petroleum products. There are about 30 bulk drug units in Tamil Nadu, who will be able to manufacture common active drugs in our own State. This will reduce the dependency on other countries,” Sivabalan added.