India encourages gelatin makers to bring it on

The International Pharmaceutical Excipients Federation is laying out a welcome mat for gelatin makers to operate in India because a shortage is causing drugmakers problems.

In an exclusive interview with in-PharmaTechnologist, IPEC says there is an "acute shortage" of the excipient, creating a problem for Indian drug manufacturers but also opening an opportunity for gelatin makers that want to expand there. The group is opening up a branch in India. It says the biggest contributor to the shortage is a lack of the raw ingredients for making gelatin, cow bone and ossein.

Ajit Singh, an India IPEC member, tells the publication that he sees the shortage as an opportunity for foreign gelatin producers. While encouraging gelmakers to set up shop in India, Singh did caution that they need to pick their partners carefully. "The key thing is to make sure that any operation that you are involved with in India uses appropriate excipient GMPs in their manufacturing and properly qualifies all of their suppliers," he says.

In China, government regulators recently recalled millions of capsules and rounded up more than three dozen manufacturers after discovering they were using industrial-grade gel made from leather scraps instead of food-grade gelatin.

Supply shortages of this type also pose a problem for domestic manufacturers and Western drugmakers--like Pfizer ($PFE), Hospira ($HSP) and Shasun Pharmaceuticals--who are investing in India because of the potential there.

- read the in-PharmaTechnologist story