Centre Okays Rs 700 Crore To Set Up Institutes Of Pharma, Medical Technology

New Delhi: The Central government has earmarked Rs 700 crore to set up centres of excellence at the National Institutes of Pharmaceutical, Education & Research (NIPER) over the next five years to boost pharma and medical technology in the country.

Of the Rs 700 crore, a sum of Rs 243 crore has been approved for 2024-25, according to a notice issued by the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP), under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers.

There are currently seven NIPERs spanning seven states in the country — Mohali(Punjab), Ahmedabad (Gujarat), Hajipur (Bihar), Hyderabad (Telangana), Kolkata (West Bengal), Guwahati (Assam) and Rae Bareli (Uttar Pradesh).

These will broadly focus on research ranging from medical device manufacturing, bulk drug R&D, phytopharmaceuticals, biological therapeutics, and antiviral and antibacterial drug discovery and development.

Former health minister Mansukh Mandaviya said that the Union Cabinet had in 2023 approved the Promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma-MedTech sector (PRIP) scheme with an outlay of Rs 5,000 crore for five years, from 2023-24 to 2027-28.

Again in 2023, a Parliamentary Panel recommended the government allocate more funds for new initiatives, such as the establishment of the National Institute of Medical Devices Education and Research (NIMERs) and Indian Council of Research & Development and Innovation in Pharma-MedTech Sector (ICPMR).

It was mentioned that the DoP had asked for Rs 1, 286 crore for FY24, of which Rs 560 crore was to set up NIPERs, and the remaining amount to be used for new initiatives under the NIPER scheme, such as NIMERs (Rs 200 crore), Centres of Excellence (Rs 233 crore), ICPMR (₹50 crore), and Promotion of Research & Innovation in Pharmaceutical Sector (Rs 243.00 crore).

Meanwhile, as per media reports, a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for domestic production of Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) drugs — used in the treatment of obesity and diabetes — is also expected to be rolled out in India by 2026.

It is important for the Indian population, with rising incidences of diabetes and obesity. The current formulations of GLP-1 drugs by the US’ Novo Nordisk (Ozempic) and Eli Lilly (Zepbound) are unavailable in India.

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