India plans pharma manufacturing clusters to ease costs

India's health ministry said the government plans to spend $27.3 million to establish 10 clusters around the country for drugmakers to share common production facilities and reduce their costs by 25%.

Ananth Kumar, minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, said the intent was to help the industry become more globally competitive and in turn make healthcare in India more affordable.

He also said the plan was part of an overall government unified policy for regulation and administration and part of the previously announced move to establish a standalone pharmaceuticals ministry.

As part of the government's overall consideration of the issue, Kumar said, his ministry also planned to follow through on a special committee's recommendations for other changes, including a single clearance process for licensing drugs.

The cluster plan would involve the government providing land at special rates and allow the member companies to share infrastructure of power, water, and sewer systems at greatly reduced rates than for a system dedicated to a single plant.

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