Singapore to Speed Up Indian Registration for Generic Drugs

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May 12 – Singapore has agreed to make it easier for generic drugs from India with prior regulatory approval in the United States, Canada, the EU, Britain or Australia to enter the country.

The fast-track drug registration process is a boost for India’s US$25-billion generic drug industry which will gain access to a large developed market such as Singapore. The deal was part of trade agreements settled during the India-Singapore comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) review meeting on Tuesday.

“If any Indian [generic] drug has been cleared in the U.S., Canada, EU, Britain and Australia, we will allow it into our markets. Accordingly, the registration process will become faster,” Singaporean trade and industry minister Lim Hng Kiang said in a statement.

Moreover, trade ministers from both countries have also agreed to liberalize the movement of Indian professionals to Singapore by accepting full mutual recognition of professional qualifications in areas like dentistry, nursing, architecture, accountancy and secretarial professionals.

India and Singapore wants bilateral trade to reach US$32 billion by 2015 by widening the scope of goods included in the CECA. India has proposed that Singapore commit more in the IT, health, education and finance industries while Singapore is asking for better access to India’s market.

Talks for the India-Singapore CECA began in 2003 and was finally signed in 2005. The agreement is India’s first CECA and Singapore’s first comprehensive bilateral economic agreement with a South Asia economy.