February 24, 2006

The Oman government is considering proposals to fast-track registration for Indian medicines, which adhere to international standards and are deemed cost effective, after a recent meeting between officials from the two countries.

Another issue touched upon was Indian companies forming join ventures (JVs) in Oman in order to manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) as well as dosage forms for medicines. Also, proposals for technical co-operation between Omani and Indian drugmakers were considered, although no firm plans have been made.

Traditionally, Oman has imported pharmaceutical products from Europe and the US, but in the last few years low cost generic brands from India have begun to make an impression on the market.

Oman's government is keen for Indian firms to form JVs with local drugmakers, as this will help the local industry to develop. However, opening up the market to Indian products further is unlikely to help reduce the country's reliance on imports, which account for 95% of the drug sector.