“Flashback 2013-Policy Push: Hits and Misses!”

The policymaking with respect to the Indian bioscience industry has been a mix of good roadmaps and few bad decisions. Year 2013 too saw some major ups and downs on the front


The policymaking determines the fate of any industry in a nation as in the longer run it cannot expand and thrive without favourable and timely policies. As far as bioscience industry in India is concerned, there has been major push for research activities in pharma, agriculture and energy. However, at the same time, the lack of clear regulatory policies has almost stunted the growth of agribiotech and bioservices industry. Among the guidelines that have been developed are the prevention, management and control of reproductive tract infections including sexually transmitted infections, management of diabetes, management of three type of cancers (oral, buccal and stomach), revised nutritional guidelines.

Also the guidelines on genetically modified foods and probiotics were released. The policies in pipeline include the bill on assisted reproductive technology, a bill on recognition of alternate systems of medicine, bill on biomedical research on human participants, knowledge management policy and e-governance, national health research policy and accreditation of health research institutes.

The Positives

● Health research gets a major push in 12th for the department of health research (DHR) and Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) during
12th five year plan (2012-17). Spearheading the key initiatives in health research, the DHR and ICMR have been boosted with doubled budget allocation for the implementation of various schemes and research initiatives in the next five years. These premier medical research agencies have played a significant role in development of indigenous reagents for H1N1, indigenous vaccines for H1N1, reagents/tests for Japanese Encephalitis, dengue etc. During the last five years, altogether 20 virology laboratories have been upgraded and 16 new laboratories including 14 bio safety laboratory II level and 2 bio safety III level established for working on viral diseases and TB.

♦ The health ministry to relook at education regulation: In order to set standards in pharmacy education and to bring about an ethics code in pharmacy practice, the health ministry will soon review the draft on M Pharm and pharmacy practice regulations framed by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). Once made functional, M Pharm regulations would help the pharmacy institutes address gaps in the delivery of education in a qualitative manner. Plan: An amount of Rs 10, 000 crore has been earmarked


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