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AIOCD To Float 10 State Wise Pharmacy Retail Chain Cos By 2008

The All Indian Origin Chemists and Distributors Ltd. (AIOCD), the company floated by All India Organisation for Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), is planning to float 10 state wise pharmacy retail companies by January 1, 2008. The move comes as the part of AIOCD's plans to set up 30 companies over the country within two years.

The 12-state affiliates of AIOCD, in West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Hariyana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh has informed the national body that they are ready to float retail chain pharmacies in the respective states soon. Out of these states, 10 affiliate bodies will set up limited firms by January 2008, according to sources from the organization. The state affiliates of AIOCD in Maharashtra and Kerala have already announced to roll out their companies by April 1, 2007.

In a bid to ensure adequate funding for these plans, the organization targets to collect Rs. 20 crore through equity shares, for which the formal procedures are currently on the way, informed J S Shinde, general secretary of AIOCD. The AIOCD Ltd. will act as the supervising and nodal agency for the companies under the state associations.

The AIOCD will sign an agreement with Accenture, the US-based leading business consulting company, by the second week of March to ease the procedure of launching state wise companies. The organization has already appointed Ernst & Young as consultant to guide small drug retailers through the transition process.

(Ref : Chronicle Pharmabiz dated March 8, 2007)

Companies Look To Gain From Budget Proposals

While welcoming the proposals in the budget for pharma and biotech sectors, albeit with some disillusionment, leading industry players are now looking to grab the most out of the new measures, especially the hike in healthcare sector allocation.

"The announcement of grater fund allocation (Rs. 9947 cr) for National Rural Health Mission and the cause for grater public-private partnership is an important step in the right direction," said Ram Sharma, MD of Becton Dickinson India.

"BD India has in the past been partnering with National AIDS Control Organization, Indian Academy of Paediatrics and Hindustan Latex Ltd. in areas like patient safety and Aids control. We would also like to forge new partnerships with the government in areas like controlling diseases like tuberculosis and malaria. The convergence of key public health issues such as immunization, malaria and tuberculosis would also help build scales and efficiency in addressing these key concerns areas of public health," he said.

"The decrease in the peak rate of duty especially for medical devices and equipment to 7.5% is very encouraging since it will reduce treatment costs and make critical care more affordable for the patients. Currently, over 65% of India's need for medical devices and equipment is met through import; therefore, the reduction in duty rates will encourage more players in the medical devices sector," said Sharma.

"The over all direction of the budget is positive for the pharma sector. Indian pharma sector has the potential to play a larger role on the global map and the present budget recognize this. We were expecting a reduction in the excise duty, which would have supported the local manufacturers, with the potential to make drugs more affordable for Indian patients but that has been ignored. As a whole initiative announced for the pharma sector will spur growth in the right direction," RC Juneja, MD of Mankind Pharma said.

(Ref : Chronicle Pharmabiz dated March 8, 2007)


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