Hyderabad: Indian companies would struggle to grab opportunities that would arise when almost USD 30-40 billion in drugs go off-patent in the next 3-4 years worldwide without adequate support from the Centre, IDMA said on Friday.

Indian Drug Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) Secretary General Daara Patel said the industry may face fierce competition from China and Brazil, as both nations are gearing up for a larger slice of the world market.

"Competition is very high and countries like Brazil and China are in the fray. It's going to be an uphill task for us. But if we have proper infrastructure in place, work in unison and get proper support from the government, I don't think we will lag behind," Patel told reporters here.

Despite the fact that Chinese API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient, or bulk drugs) material is not as good as Indian APIs, other nations are tempted to buy them due to the price differential.

"The government should support the industry in terms of providing better facilities for R&D. They must support the API industry, which is not happening. Today we are facing heat from China, despite the fact that Chinese material is not as good as Indian ones in APIs," he explained.

IDMA has submitted a paper to the Union government in which it requested that land should be provided to pharma companies at a cheap price like China does, while interest rates and transaction costs should also be brought down.

The association also called for government support in setting up effluent treatment plants.

To a query on foreign direct investment, Patel said 100 per cent FDI in the sector should be allowed, but with riders.

"If we want funds, if we want to be seen in the global arena as fair competitors, if we do not want to be bothered by the WTO rules, we should allow FDI. But certain checks and balances have to be in place," he said.

(Agencies)