Regulatory obstacles hinder Indian pharma exports to Vietnam

Companies 'red listed' by Vietnamese drug regulatory authority for regulatory non-compliance

Indian pharmaceutical companies are continuing to face difficulties in Vietnam due to regulatory hindrances. The Drug Regulatory Authority of Vietnam recently 'red listed' 53 Indian pharma companies for regulatory non-compliance. Products of Flaming Pharmaceutical were 'red listed' for the next 12 months, with the authority also cancelling 115 product registrations of Ahmedabad-based Intas Pharma.

Currently, the Vietnam pharma market is worth US$2.4bn and growing at 7% annually. Indian exports to the Vietnam market have decreased by 15% from $220m in 2013 to $195m in 2014.

In January Rajeev Kher, secretary, Department of Commerce and Trade, Government of India, led a high level Indian delegation from the department of commerce and trade to Vietnam and Cambodia to discuss various issues pertaining to pharma trade and improving business ties with the South East Asian countries.

According to P V Appaji, Director General of Pharmexcil, Vietnam and Cambodia are two countries that have a huge potential demand for generic medicines in the South East Asian region. The delegation held discussions with their respective governments, regulators and trading community for enhancing pharma trade and have even explored the possibilities of joint ventures with the local companies in the two countries.

Pharmexcil is also focusing on improving Indian pharma exports to Myanmar. India's eastern neighbour has been long neglected due to the political situation. This has changed, and Myanmar is now looking at India for its medicinal and healthcare imports, said officials. As there is a huge demand for generic medicines in Myanmar, India wants to grab the opportunity to improve its pharmaceutical export business to the country, they added.

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