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Sick drug PSUs back from brink

business Updated: Jan 14, 2010 20:20 IST
Falaknaaz Syed
Falaknaaz Syed
Hindustan Times
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Leading public sector pharmaceutical companies, bleeding for years, are turning the corner, with three of them -- Bengal Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals (BCPL), Hindustan Antibiotics Limited (HAL) and Indian Drugs Pharmaceuticals (IDPL) – expecting operating profits in 2009-10.

All three were declared sick and sent to the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) under a revival programme.

Government officials say the firms have cut internal costs and improved employee productivity, updgraded technology, increased salaries and introduced performance-linked incentives to boost sales.

Currently only two state pharma firms, the Karnataka Antibiotics and Pharmaceuticals Limited (KAPL) and Rajasthan Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited (RDPL) are making profits.

A senior official of Department of Pharmaceuticals said the five firms had achieved Rs 612 crore in sales in 2008-09, surpassing a Rs 540-crore target and had achieved Rs 320 crore of the targeted Rs 663 crore by October this fiscal year.

“Since pharma companies get the bulk orders from December, we are hopeful that they will get adequate orders and meet our targets,” said a senior government official.

He also said that all the pharma PSUs have submitted plans on entering new business areas to improve margins.

The firms were now planning to make new drugs in areas such as cancer cure, vaccination and intermediate products used in the making of bulk drugs – which form the basis of end-use medicines.