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Friday 31 March 2006

Pharma industry looks for ways to end blacklist

pharmexcil, an association of exporters and traders of medicine in India, held a discussion with the Union ministry of commerce, in the last week of February, to resolve the issue of Nigerian government blacklisting some 12 Indian pharmaceutical companies.

Nigeria's Food and Drug Administration blacklisted some Indian manufacturers in March 2005, saying that the products being exported by the companies were fake and substandard.

But Pharmexcil says the problem was that the products were not registered in the Nigerian market and thus were being put in the category of fake or substandard. The blacklisted companies say that the government should have at least issued a show-cause notice before coming out with the notification.

The medicines being exported to Nigeria ranged from antibiotics to painkillers. These blacklisted companies, which cater only to the export markets, stand to lose around Rs 100 crore. Pharmexcil is therefore looking for an amicable solution: We respect their (Nigeria's) decision. If found lacking in quality, we are willing to improve, says P V Appaji, executive director, Pharmexcil, Hyderabad.

The commerce ministry has asked for some additional information so that it can access the current scenario.

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