Vietnam’s pharmaceutical industry needs hi-tech investment
The Hanoi Times - Although Vietnam has a treasure of abundant and diverse sources of pharmaceutical materials, including nearly 4,000 herbal plants, the country’s pharmaceutical industry currently depends on material imported from China to make up medicines. To exploit its own resources, it is necessary for Vietnam to boost investments in hi-tech extraction technologies.
The Hanoi Times - Although
Latest statistical reports from the Drug Administration of Vietnam indicated that in 2008, locally-produced medicines meet just 50.18 percent of demand, with eighty percent of materials for the production of medicine imported from foreign countries, mainly from
Pharmacist Nguyen Tien Hung, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Medical Products Import - Export Company (Vimedimex) blamed the situation for the fact that
Reality shows that extraction technology of medicinal plants in the country is still underdeveloped. At present,
The main extraction method employed in such plants is just intended for concentrating glues at normal pressure. Extraction plants built in areas where herbal plants are grown as materials, if any, are also small, equipped with rudimentary machines and equipment. Such plants are only used for producing one or two kinds of glues.
Thanks to the growing tendency among consumers to use herbal remedies, a number of oriental medicine businesses have begun to invest in modern plants equipped with controllable heat extraction technology.
No matter how modern they are, such plants cannot produce high-quality medicinal medicines that can compete with imported products because they are still falling short in extraction processes.
Mr Hung pointed out that last year, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung approved a project to boost the development of the pharmaceutical industry and build a drug distribution system for the stages 2007 - 2015 and 2016-2020.
The PM also issued two decisions to stimulate the investment in plants to extract active elements from pharmaceutical materials, but no company has gained benefits from these policies.
It is really a loss for the country because if
Cited as an example, Mr Hung said that in 1980s Dr. B. Gluzin, deputy director of Medicinal Plant Research Institute of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture, and his fellow-workers came to work in Vietnam and found a large volume of mangiferin (an anti-oxidant agent) contained in mango leaves. This kind of mango leaf extract is used for making medicines that cures shingles.
Based on the discovery,
At present, BV Pharma can produce mangiferin with a purity of 98 and 100 percent. The volume of material and medicines in the form of finished products exported to
But it is not merely mango leaves,
Pharmacist Tran Hung, head of Department of Pharmaceutical Materials of the HCMC University of Medical and Pharmacy, said that to boost the development of the pharmaceutical industry and improve the production capacity of specific medicines,
To do so, it is necessary for the Government to have policies to encourage simultaneous investment in material growing areas, high technology and training.
Since businesses feel hesitant to invest in hi-tech extraction technologies, as they require large investment capital, Mr Hung said that the Government should also issue macro policies related to financial funding and tax incentives to encourage investors.
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