A new Pharma Park project promoted by the Gujarat Industry Development Corporation (GIDC) is under way to provide the small scale drug manufacturers some space in the pharmaceutical industry.

Almost 71 small scale pharma companies, under the umbrella of the Gujarat State Board of Indian Drug Manufacturers Association (IDMA) will have their facilities in the new GIDC Pharma Park. The IDMA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government in the much known investor summit, Vibrant Gujarat 2009, in January and is waiting for the government to allot land for building up the park, according to IDMA Gujarat.

"The government has assured to allot area near Ahmedabad or in Viramgam, a city in Ahmedabad district, for the park. We will decide the infrastructure facilities need and the allotment of space after finalising the place," said R S Joshi, executive secretary, IDMA Gujarat State Board. IDMA state chapter is the umbrella body to collect applications from the interested pharma companies and the project will be handled by the association with consent from the member firms.

The Pharma Park will have allocated space for packaging and logistics facilities along with accommodation for formulation and bulk drug manufacturers. However, the area of land for the park and the total investment required will be finalised only after the allotment of land, he added.

The association also moots a plan to set up common facilities for R&D and related services for the members in the area. "We have an idea to set up the common facilities, but it is very early to comment on such details at present," said Joshi. The Pharma Park is expected to support the small scale industry to address the highly quality conscious export market with a standard manufacturing facility and will encourage them to grow in contract manufacturing business.

In an attempt to back up efforts of the companies in contract manufacturing services, the association is also planning to conduct an exhibition on outsourcing opportunities in the state by October 2009. With the excise tax reduction and the recent reports on the increasing presence of substandard drugs in the tax exempted areas like Baddi has added confidence in the industry in Gujarat, he averred.

At present, almost one third of the contract manufacturing business in the country is handled by the industry in Gujarat. The exhibition is to attract more pharmaceutical companies into the state for contract manufacturing projects and to make the pharma industry in the state aware about the huge opportunity in outsourcing services, informed Joshi.