Medical mantras to ease market pain

Import of pharmaceutical products should be allowed only through Duty Refund Process under Excise Invoice which also increases government revenue .

• If any biotech product is developed within the country then the import of such products must be completely stopped to provide business incubation time.

• Import duty on drugs (which is five per cent at present) has to match duty rates in South Asia. Pharmaceutical imports in India are subject to excise duties and VAT is also applicable in India.

• Registration procedures for drug import must be revised to match with provisions of SAFTA members. The company registration fee and product registration fee should be the same as per Indian regulations. Lower registration charges for foreign companies creates unfair competition and also causes revenue loss.

• Nepali pharmaceutical companies should get reciprocal opportunity to export to India. Nepal has allowed 225 Indian companies to market here whereas not a single company is allowed to sell its products in India.

• As capital cost for R&D including the development of herbal drugs is very expensive, investment in R&D should be facilitated by providing tax benefits. Customs duties and VAT applicable on various high-end scientific equipment for biopharmaceutical and biotechnology research work especially of HS Code should be abolished. Joint research and development of drugs should be promoted.

• Government should promote Bulk Drugs Production (raw materials for Pharma Industries) by providing incentives.

• The government should invest resources in quality control of all drug products produced and imported. There has to be proper legal mechanism to control the substitution of drug products which is one of the reasons of poor recovery of critically ill patients. This is infringement on the intellectual property and brand capital in contravention of existing Trade Market and Patent Law.

• Nepal should bring a National Research Policy to promote R&D specially in biopharmaceutical, biotech and industrial sectors. For investment in R&D, government should establish a ‘Technology Development Fund’ and provide cash subsidies for research.