|Subject||Ban On Exports Is Wrong, Says Indian Pharmaceutical Dealer's Association|
The Indian Pharmaceutical Dealer's Association (IPDA), the largest association of pharmaceutical dealers in e-commerce, has demanded immediate lifting of the ban by Maharashtra government on pharma exports. The association claimed here on Tuesday that the ban has caused a huge setback to the industry.
Pharma companies in state claim to be suffering losses of over Rs 4 crore everyday since February, when Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned exports of pharma products through parcel posts. Navneet Verma, IPDA secretary from Mumbai, claimed that the association has over 50 pharma manufacturers and export members. He said, "State should immediately intervene to stop harassment on the pretext of curbing clandestine activities. There is an issue of illegal exports, but because of some black sheep all others are suffering losses."
Parcel post accounted for 30% of the total $2 billion (Rs 12,000 crore) global e-commerce market for pharma industry. This has completely crashed since February and caused huge revenue loss to the government as well. Maharashtra FDA has often cited violation of Drug & Cosmetics Act of 1940, to impose the ban. However, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act is not even applicable on exports, claims the association. It is meant to merely regulate manufacture, stocking or selling of drugs within the country.
Medicine export falls under the 'Foreign Trade Policy' and not under Drugs and Cosmetic Act. Hence FDA cannot take ban export, say IPDA members. The business is monitored by the Reserve Bank of India and undertaken with the approval of Assistant Drug Controller of India and the customs department. Also, the powers of state drug regulatory authorities of any Indian state are limited to the manufacture and sale of medicines in that state. While state authorities can order a company to stop manufacturing a medicine under certain circumstances, it cannot issue an order to specifically ban medicine exports.
Verma went on to level serious charges against the state FDA, saying that it is working at the behest of American pharma lobby, which has been spending millions of dollars annually to kill competition from small and medium-scale generic pharma companies in India. "Even Interpol has found no wrongdoing by any of the 50 members of IPDA over the last seven years in its global investigations against drug trafficking. We are meeting union commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday as the new government is at least ready to listen to our grievances," he said.
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com
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