300,000 pharma employees may lose jobs: ASSOCHAM

April 30th, 2008 - 6:12 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) Wednesday warned that the drug price control measures of the government may render 300,000 pharma employees jobless. In a representation sent to the department of chemicals and petrochemicals, Assocham said job price control extension beyond 74 medicines would affect the companies and the availability of medicines in the market.

Assocham President Venugopal N. Dhoot said: “Bringing more and more drugs under the price control would not only delay and reduce access to medicines, but also curtail R&D (research and development) investments and employment.”

He said it would have “negative impact on the economy as that would reduce foreign direct investment in pharma sector, besides putting in danger the livelihood of lakhs of pharma representatives and plant workers”.

“This would be so because the drug manufacturers would not be able to sell their products at competitive rates in the market which would naturally result in curtailing manpower requirements of the sector,” Dhoot explained in a statement.

The government has recently asked all pharma companies to reduce prices of drugs and had said that generic drugs would be put under price control. Currently 74 drugs are under price control measures.

Dhoot said extension of drugs price control would affect the Indian pharmaceuticals sector in the long run as they will be “unable to invest and will lag behind in reaching a larger doctor base and tier II towns and villages”.

He claimed that the price control measure might lead to more spurious drugs coming to the market.

The organisation said the Indian pharma sector is growing fast and can become a global leader, hence it should be thrown out of current regulatory clutches of the government.

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