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Asia to set standards for biologics with US

business Updated: Aug 20, 2012 00:33 IST
Himani Chandna Gurtoo
Himani Chandna Gurtoo
Hindustan Times
United States Pharmacopeia

The West is now looking at Asia not just for the growth perspective but also for setting standards. United States Pharmacopeia (USP), a non-profit and standards setting organisation, is planning to establish a new expert committee comprising of scientists from India, China and Korea to focus on standards for biologic medicines.

“Biologic medicines are one of the strongest growth areas for the Indian pharmaceutical industry, where setting standards is an urgent need,” said Roger Williams, CEO, USP.

Biologics are advanced prescription drugs to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other debilitating diseases.

The move will also help the emergence of effective medication for people suffering from a number of rare diseases.

“Rare diseases are seeing new hope in emerging biologics treatments,” Williams explained. “USP-India’s collaborative work on standards for biologics through the medicines compendium will help to provide quality medications for intractable diseases.”

USP considers Indian pharmaceutical market as one of the leading force in the worldwide medicines manufacturing in a remarkably shorter period of time. Last year, the organisation established a testing laboratory on the outskirts of Hyderabad with an investment of R82 crore.

“The facility is the largest site for USP outside the US, where we will continue to grow our investments,” said Williams. “We plan to hire 40 people, only Indian nationals, during the current fiscal year, bringing our total staff to 141.”

However, the organisation is also concerned about the issues concerning quality and consistency of drugs.

“We are working with India on regular basis for its standards-setting activities,” added Williams. “India is emerging as a leading participant in committees for the USP and the National Formulary (USP-NF) — published compendia of drug quality standards.”