Indian Drug Manufacturers AssociationThe Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) sub-committee of the Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA) is mooting a project to join hands with the small and medium pharma manufacturers associations in foreign countries to share information for improved performance in local market.

The association will discuss the matter in detail in the next special meeting of the executive committee to coordinate with the foreign associations. The attempt is to bring the group of small and medium scale companies to a single platform to identify the growth opportunities and challenges where the associations can work together, said S V Veeramani, chairman, SME sub- committee, IDMA.

"Our new president, N R Munjal, has come up with the idea of setting up a common platform for various small and medium companies' associations from different countries. We have taken up the idea and will try to do our best for the welfare of the small and medium pharma companies in the country. The idea is just in a concept stage now," he averred.

The effort will open up the gates of information about the market conditions and activities of SMEs in various countries. The integration will also help the Indian SMEs to share the latest technological know-how with the foreign companies, he added.

The SME committee is also planning to initiate programmes to inspire small and medium companies in the country, which have Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliance with the Indian drug regulator, to get GMP approval from World Health Organisation (WHO) for better market opportunities. Since the companies are already close to WHO standards, the approval will be easily available and will open a larger opportunity of exports and contract manufacturing for the players.

Even after several requests from the pharma associations, the government bodies like Railways, Steel Authority of India and Coal Authority are persisting with their policy seeking higher sales turnover as a condition when applying for tenders for medicines. The committee will pursue the matter with appropriate authorities to confirm small scale companies also have a level playing field in business with these government bodies, informed Veeramani.