The Drug Marketing and Manufacturing Association (DMMA) is spearheading a series of awareness drives on new policies on labeling and a regulatory framework for “Nutraceutical” manufacturers, slated to be implemented 2018 onwards. The first of the ‘knowledge series’ seminars were held on Saturday, February 11 in Ahmedabad.

Nutraceuticals are a rising branch in the pharmaceuticals industry and is estimated to clock a compounded annual growth rate of about 16% in the next five years. The total value of the nutraceutical industry in India is expected to almost double to Rs. 26,764 crore by 2020 or nearly $4 billion. India is rated as one of the fastest growing countries in the domain, yet so far, lacked a dedicated law guiding the sector or rules that defined the composition of nutraceuticals. Moreover, a recent Assocham-RNCOS joint study has revealed that 60% to 70% of dietary supplements sold across India are fake, counterfeit, unregistered and unapproved and are extremely difficult to identify.

“At DMMA, we felt it was our duty to educate and guide our manufacturers and marketers to work towards the mission of a “healthy India”. The seminars will help adopt the highest quality standards and practices for the betterment of life and allow consumers to make the right choice with adequate safety. The new regulations will come into play only in 2018, so our efforts are directed towards making use of the time to throw light on new licensing norms, approvals that will be now necessary and mark the future paradigm of marketing among others,” said Mr. Amit Thakkar, President, DMMA.

The country currently, is witness to a spate of changes in lifestyles and rise in lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, cardio-vascular problems among others. A sedentary way of life is popular. As a result, the demands for supplements to nutrition are growing, especially among the upper and middle class.

“In such a scenario, nutraceutical intake is growing in popularity as consumers are looking for products to boost energy and enhance physical perseverance, mental sharpness and to become more dynamic and conscious. Dietary supplements in the form of tablets, capsules, powders, liquids, soft caps and soft gels are available”, said Vikram Chandwani, General Secretary, DMMA.

Advocate Sanjeev Jain, a leading lawyer specializing in pharmaceuticals threw on related cases in a legal perspective.