Swedish proposals for stricter environmental requirements for pharma industry could impact makers  of  API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) in countries such as India (The  Pharma Letter)

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Globally, there has been a dramatic powershift,  and those who are losing power are not going to make it easy for those on the ascendant. That has been obvious for quite sometime now. Am  no international relations expert, but here are my two penny thoughts, based on whatI  see when I travel and from my own interactions with people in many countries. Firstly, as it happened with China, there  is a growing line of people today desperately trying to clamber aboard  the India bandwagon.  It takes less time and is  easier to become an India expert than a China expert or a Russia expert because  we donot have the language problems ( Reading 5 English newspapers gives you enough dope to hold forth and our society is less opaque) Expect the tribe  of rent-a-quote instant India experts to swell.  This will depress the quality of India expertise but I have faith in the market and its power to auto-correct in this particular situation. Unlike many Indians,  I do  not worry too much about this crowd because even in the worst case scenario, people  marketing their ‘banal-ese’   are in it for quick money and  fame   and are mostly irrelevant and  harmless. This will accelerate if India continues in its current pace and plummet if it does not.  There is no need to counter this trend except through telling our story  better which we should be doing anyway, with or without the advent of  fly-by-night India experts.

We would also see, hopefully, more  serious students of India from all over the world, many of whom will critique the lapses in every sector of   our economy and society. We should pay attention to these people even if we donot agree always because they are relevant and will shape the discourse about India. There is lots to criticise about India and criticism from well-informed people/institutions should not be brushed aside, irrespective of the motivation of those levelling the charges.  The second response, more widespread, is increasing resistance and  hostility.  This will be reflected in attacks, physical and otherwise, on Indians who are prominent as well as those who are not but perceived as ‘ job snatchers’.  India’s growing clout will make many people uneasy. The same lot who felt uneasy about  the rise of Japan and rise of China are uncomfortable with the rise of India. Paradoxically, many of these will be from among the “progressive, liberal crowd” in the Western world.  Expect a less vocal stance from industry/business/individuals who are leveraging India’s low-cost advantage and human resource base. None of these trends are unusual, given the past, and India would have to deal with them with sophistication and pragmatism.

A  final thought — what can we learn from China, a country which has time and again displayed traits which are terrifying and admirable.

Copied  below is an excerpt from a trade news letter

Current studies show that levels of pharmaceuticals in “purified” waste water are above the level of a normal dose of a drug in a human being. With this background, the discharge of substances from the pharmaceutical production in the third world is of sincere concern.

One serious problem is the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This risk increases with the production of pharmaceutical products in low-cost countries, says Charlotte Unger, Scientific Director Environment at the MPA(Medical  Products  Agency)

A significant part of the current manufacture and production of raw materials or intermediate products takes place in low-cost countries and many large companies are planning to place even more of their production there, the Agency notes. National legislation is insufficient and these measures are better met with harmonized EU legislation, since level of requirements may also affect conditions outside the EU, it says.

Certification of production facilities to include environmental aspect

The MPA therefore proposes, as a first priority, a requirement for an environmental certification of the manufacturing facilities, with respect to the production of medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to be introduced to the legislation on GMP in order to include also an environmental perspective in the legislation for improved cleaning technician at production facilities.

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