ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Exercise in Dissimulation

Exercise in Dissimulation THE estimate of production of drugs and pharmaceuticals in the country has Income a subject of controversy between the industry and the government and indeed between different sectors of the industry itself. The president of the Organisation of Pharmaceutical Pioducers of India (OPPI), which represents the foreign companies in the pharmaceutical industry, painted an altogether bleak picture of the state of the industry in his address at the annual general meeting of the OPPI in Bombay on April 30. The growth of output of bulk drugs and formulations in 1980-81, he pointed out, was the lowest in the last five years. Even in 1981-82, while the estimated rise in the value of output of bulk drugs was 14,6 per cent and in that of formulations 8.3 per cent, if adjustments were made for price increases "the real growth will be negligible or may even be negative". The OPPI president's reason for emphasising these developments was to drive home the failure of the government's New Drug Policy, especially the measures aimed at reducing the proportion of foreign equity in the Indian subsidiaries of the multi- naional pharmaceutical companies operating in India and at controlling the prices of essential bulk drugs and formulations. The annual report of the Department of Chemicals and Fertilisers, on the other hand, claims that production of drugs and pharmaceuticals increased at a faster rate in 1981-82 than in 1980-81 and that "the trend of increase in the production of a large number of essential drufes is expected to be maintained during 1982-83". The Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA), representing the Indian companies and small- scale units in the industry, has refuted the OPPI's case against the government's drug policy and claimed that the production of both basic drugs and formulations has been "substantially picking up". The IDMA has alleged that "shortages of drugs, if any, are artificial and created with a view to forcing drastic changes in the drug policy".

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