Representation image | AFP Photo
Kannur: The central government has given the approval to establish 115 bulk pharmacy plants in Gujarat for manufacturing chemical compounds and ingredients used in drugs. It is estimated that the plants could attract an investment of around Rs 2000 crore. However, the decision is a wake-up call for Kerala, the largest pharmaceutical market in India. As of 2022, Kerala does not have such plants operational in the state.
Earlier, Indian companies bought ingredients for drug manufacturing from China. Due to Covid-19, the supply chain was disrupted, and the import declined drastically. This scenario led to the prospect of establishing plants in India.
It is alleged that the Kerala government is turning its back on the pharma sector despite having a favourable climate, infrastructure and qualified workforce. It is estimated that drugs worth Rs 10,000 crore are sold in Kerala every year. Even those existing pharmaceutical units, including the ones owned by the government, are struggling to survive.
Apart from Gujarat, the states of West Bengal, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have made huge strides in the market by investing heavily in the pharmacy sector after Covid-19. At present, there are a total of 3415 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Centers in Gujarat. In two years, the Department of Pharmaceuticals has approved 288 new pharmaceutical manufacturing units.