CA, CS, CMA, Advocates are available for Free Consultation!!!

   +91 85400-99000   A98, Nanhey Park, Uttam Nagar, New Delhi, India

Manufacturing Drug License

In India, if a business wants to manufacture and sell drugs or cosmetics, it is mandatory to obtain a manufacturing drug license from the State Drug Controlling Authority. The license is issued under the Drug and Cosmetics Act 1940 and its rules, and it is essential for ensuring the quality and safety of medicines sold in India. Manufacturing drug license is a legal requirement, and without it, businesses engaging in the manufacturing or sale of drugs can face legal troubles. In this blog post, we will discuss the procedure, documents required, benefits, and other aspects of obtaining a manufacturing drug license in India.

I. Introduction

A. Definition and importance of Manufacturing Drug License in India

VI Documents required for Manufacturing Drug License in India

 To obtain a manufacturing drug license in India, the following documents are required:
 1. Application form in prescribed format
 2. Declaration form by the applicant in the prescribed format
 3. Challan fees receipt
 4. Application fees
 5. Site plan showing the layout of the premises
 6. Building plan showing the premises area
 7. List of equipments and machineries to be used in the manufacturing process
 8. Details of the technical manager and competent person in charge of the manufacturing process
 9. List of drugs to be manufactured
 10. Competent person certificate
 11. NOC from the municipal corporation or local authority
 12. NOC from the State Pollution Control Board
 13. Affidavit stating that the manufacturing unit will comply with all regulatory requirements
 14. Power of attorney if required
 15. Any other document as required by the licensing authority

To obtain a Manufacturing Drug License, an applicant must fulfil the pre-requisites, prepare necessary documents, fill the online application form, pay the required government fee, get the premises verified, and face inspection and an interview by the drug inspector. Finally, the Controller of Drugs issues the Manufacturing Drug License for the manufacturer, and an applicant receives a unique registration number for further processing and reference. 

II. Pre-Requisites for Obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License

A. Industrial Area

The Industrial Area is a crucial aspect when it comes to obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License in India. According to the regulations set by the Central Drugs Standards Control Organizations, the factory unit for manufacturing drugs must be in the Industrial area. This means that the industrial area should be equipped with specific facilities that cater to the manufacturing process. The certification of plant registration or approval certificate issued by NRA is also required for this process. Furthermore, a detailed outline of the manufacturing process, along with information related to the site, is a prerequisite for obtaining the license. Besides, the Industrial area should have proper drawings of ventilation, water, and drainage systems in place to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for the manufacturer to carry out the production process. Overall, the Industrial Area plays a crucial role in ensuring that the manufacturing of drugs and cosmetics follows strict quality measures and standards set by the regulatory authorities. 

B. Manufacturing Process

The manufacturing process for drugs in India is a regulated and complex process that requires various licenses and compliance with quality standards. The manufacturing process includes various steps such as sourcing of raw materials, preparation of formulations, testing of products, packaging, and labeling. The manufacturing site must also comply with norms related to hygiene and safety.
The manufacturing process varies depending on the type of drug being produced. In the case of capsules, the drug is prepared by mixing the active ingredient with excipients such as starch and gelatin. The mixture is then filled into capsules using specialized equipment. Similarly, the manufacturing process for tablets involves blending the components, compressing them into tablets, and coating them if required.

In addition to compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), manufacturers must also follow guidelines related to waste disposal, water treatment, and storage of finished products. The facility must have adequate ventilation, lighting, and drainage systems to ensure that the products are safe for consumption. Overall, the manufacturing process for drugs in India is complex, and it is imperative to have a manufacturing drug license to ensure quality compliance. 

C. Plant Registration or Approval Certificate

Plant Registration or Approval Certificate is an essential document required by the applicant before setting up a manufacturing unit for drugs. The document includes information about the premises, such as its location, construction design, layout, and other details that assure compliance with the rules and regulations of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO). The certificate ensures that the manufacturing unit has followed the necessary precautions to prevent contamination and maintain hygiene. It is essential to acquire the approval certificate from the CDSCO before starting any manufacturing activity. Failure to do so could result in significant penalties, including fines or imprisonment. The certificate is valid for a specific period and requires renewal after that. Regular inspections are conducted to ensure that the manufacturing unit is following the guidelines provided by the regulatory authorities. In summary, Plant Registration or Approval Certificate is a vital document for any applicant looking to set up a manufacturing unit for drugs in India and is a mandatory requirement before any manufacturing activity. 

D. Site Information

In order to obtain a manufacturing drug license in India, an applicant must provide detailed information about the site where the drugs will be manufactured. The site information should be detailed and include the following:

1. The factory unit for manufacturing drugs should be in an industrial area.
2. A brief detail about the manufacturing process.
3. The certificate of plant registration or approval certificate issued by NRA.
4. Brief information about the products/drugs to be manufactured.
5. Proper drawing of ventilation, water, and drainage systems.
6. Other conditions will fulfill the criteria of Specific Environment Requirements.

It is important to note that the premises should conform to the standards set down in Schedule M. The premises should have sufficient room, apparatus, and equipment for the manufacturing unit. Assembling and testing of drugs should be conducted under the supervision of full-time skillful technical staff. There should be sufficient staff and laboratory equipment to carry out tests at the testing unit. Adequate arrangements for drug storage should be ensured. By providing detailed site information, an applicant can increase their chances of obtaining a manufacturing drug license in India. 

E. Product Information

Product is an essential aspect of obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License in India. The State Licensing Authority requires a brief information of the products or drugs that the manufacturer intends to produce. The information should not only contain the generic name but also the brand name, composition, dosage form, indication of use, and packing size of the product. Besides, the product information must also include the proposed route of administration and the strength of the active ingredients used in the product. The product information is necessary to determine the safety, quality, and efficacy of the drug and to ensure that it does not pose any harm to the end consumer. The information about the product will also help the authority to inspect and regulate the manufacturing process to make sure it meets the required standards. Therefore, it is important to provide accurate and complete product information while applying for the Manufacturing Drug License to ensure the smooth and timely approval of the license application. 

F. Quality Control lab equipment

Quality control is an essential part of the manufacturing process of drugs. It ensures that each batch of medicine is meeting the quality standards set by regulatory bodies like FDA. To carry out quality control testing, various lab equipment is required that helps to detect and investigate product quality deviations and maintain reliable testing laboratories. Some of the lab equipment used in quality control testing are:
– HPLC (High-Performance Liquid Chromatography) – It is used to separate, identify, and quantify each component in a mixture.
– FTIR (Fourier Transform Infrared) Spectrophotometer – It is used to analyze chemical bonds in a sample by measuring the wavelengths of infrared light absorbed by the sample.
– UV-Visible Spectrophotometer – It is used to measure the amount of light absorbed by a sample at specific wavelengths to determine its concentration.
– Dissolution Testing Apparatus – It is used to test the rate and extent of drug dissolution from its dosage form.
– pH Meter – It is used to measure the pH of a solution.

Quality control lab equipment must be well-calibrated, maintained, and validated before being used to perform quality control tests. This helps to prevent instances of contamination, mix-ups, deviations, failures, and errors, ensuring that the drug product meets its quality standards. 

G. Ventilation, Water, and Drainage System

Proper ventilation, water, and drainage systems are critical for ensuring safety and quality in drug manufacturing plants. Without adequate ventilation, workers may be exposed to harmful fumes and gases that can harm their health. A well-designed ventilation system helps to remove any toxic air or fumes from the plant, promoting a safer working environment.
Clean water is imperative in the drug manufacturing process to ensure the hygiene and purity of the product. Contaminated water may carry harmful bacteria or chemicals that could lead to compromised product quality, leading to potential health risks to the end-user.

A drainage system is integral in preventing the build-up of hazardous waste materials in the plant. Poor drainage systems can cause cross-contamination, leading to compromised quality and safety in the product. Therefore, the drainage system must be compliant with the regulatory guidelines and should remove any waste efficiently, ensuring the maintenance of hygienic conditions.

Proper ventilation, water, and drainage systems also contribute to the optimization of plant productivity and processes. It is essential to ensure that the plant’s infrastructure and equipment are maintained correctly to guarantee the seamless functioning of these systems.

Investing in the establishment of a well-planned ventilation, water, and drainage system can help to promote a safe and efficient drug manufacturing process while upholding the highest standards of quality assurance. 

V. Procedure for Filing Manufacturing Drug License

A. Preparing Requisite Documents

Before applying for a Manufacturing Drug License, an applicant must prepare and submit requisite documents to the state licensing authority. These documents include a factory unit plan located in a designated industrial area, details about the manufacturing process, plant registration or approval certificate, site information, product information, information about quality control lab equipment, and proper ventilation, water, and drainage drawings. Additionally, applicants must fulfill specific criteria related to the environment requirements, such as disclosing the standards followed by the organization for product evaluation. An authorization letter revealing the name and designation of the concerned person authorized to sign the documents on behalf of the firm is required. Once an applicant has all the necessary documents, they can fill the online application form by visiting the official website of their respective state licensing authority. After uploading all the required documents and paying the government fee, a drug inspector will inspect and verify the premises before issuing a manufacturing drug license upon fulfillment of all the requirements. Once a registration is done successfully, an applicant will receive a unique registration number that they can use further for reference. 

B. Filling Online Application Form

Once you have completed all the necessary preparations, the next step is to fill out the online application form for your manufacturing drug license in India. The process has been designed to be simple and straightforward, but it is important to ensure that you provide all the required information and documentation accurately. Here are some key points to keep in mind when filling out the application form:
1. Create your login ID on the respective State Licensing Authority website/portal.
2. Fill out all the required fields in the form, including your personal information, business details, and the type of license you are applying for.
3. Upload all the necessary documents as per the checklist provided by the regulatory authority, such as proof of ownership, proof of identity, and invoices for equipment.
4. Pay the government fee online and submit your application.
5. Remember to also submit a hard copy of your application to the respective State Licensing Authority.
6. Once your application has been processed, you will be called for an interview and inspection by the Drug Inspector.
7. If your application is approved, you will receive your Manufacturer Drug License along with a unique registration number.

By following these steps carefully, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free process for filling out your online application form for your manufacturing drug license in India. 

C. Payment of Government Fee

After completing the online application form and submitting all the required documents, the next step in obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License in India is the payment of government fees. This fee is mandatory for all applicants and must be paid through the portal. The amount of the fee varies according to the type of license and the products being sold. For each license, the applicant will be required to pay a fee. The applicant must ensure that all payments are made on time to avoid any delays in the licensing process. It is important to note that the fees are non-refundable, so applicants should check all the requirements before making any payment. Failure to make the required payments will result in the rejection of the application. The payment of government fees is a crucial step in obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License in India and should be taken seriously. 

D. Verification of Premises

After filling up the online application form, the next step towards obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License in India is the verification of premises. A Drug Inspector appointed by the Licensing Authority visits the manufacturing site to check whether the site fulfills the specific requirements prescribed by the Authority. The inspection takes into consideration the standard of the plant, personnel, equipment, premises, and management. The Drug Inspector assesses whether the site is suitable for manufacturing drugs and pharmaceuticals and checks whether it meets the prescribed standards.
The applicant must make sure that the premises are in compliance with the specific environment requirements as laid down by the authority. The premises must be located in an industrial area and should be equipped with appropriate ventilation, water, and drainage systems. The applicant must also provide the government with plant registration or approval certificates issued by the National Regulatory Authority (NRA). An important requisite in obtaining a Manufacturing Drug License is a laboratory on-site capable of conducting quality control of products and medicines. 

In the end, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the premises meet the criteria set by the Drug Control Authority. 

E. Inspection and Interview by Drug Inspector

After submitting the online application form and paying the government fee, the next step is the inspection and interview by the Drug Inspector. The Drug Inspector visits the manufacturing plant to verify the premises and ensure that they meet the standards set by the government. During the inspection, the Drug Inspector checks various aspects of the plant, such as the ventilation system, water supply, and drainage system. They also verify the documents related to the plant and the products being manufactured. After verifying the plant, the Drug Inspector conducts an interview with the plant operator to understand the manufacturing process and the quality control measures. The Drug Inspector also reviews the quality control lab equipment to ensure that it meets the required standards. This inspection and interview process is crucial as it helps the government to ensure that drugs manufactured in India are safe for human consumption. 

F. Issuance of Manufacturer Drug License

After the online application, paying the government fee, and verification of premises, the inspection and interview by a drug inspector will follow. The inspection is conducted to ensure that the manufacturing process complies with the regulatory norms. The drug inspector will check if the plant has proper ventilation, water, and drainage systems. They will also verify if the quality control lab equipment is in good condition and if the site information is accurate. Once the inspection is completed, and the requirements are met, the Manufacturing Drug License will be issued. Each manufacturer will receive a unique registration number to avoid any duplication of licenses. The license is valid for a specific period and must be renewed when it expires. The manufacturer can now engage in businesses related to drugs and cosmetics without any legal hindrances. Issuance of Manufacturer Drug license is essential to ensure that the quality of drugs sold in India is monitored and regulated, allowing everyone to have equal and fair access to drugs.

G. Receipt of Unique Registration Number

Once inspection and interview by the drug inspector are completed, and the applicant has fulfilled all the necessary requirements, the drug controlling authority issues the manufacturing drug license. The license granted will be indicative of the products that can be manufactured, sold, and distributed by the entity. The licensee will also receive a unique registration number, which is essential for any legal transaction related to drug manufacture and sale. The receipt of a unique registration number means that the licensee can commence business operations. It is a crucial step for any entity as it is necessary to ensure that it is legally recognized and authorized to carry out operations related to drugs and medicines in India. With the registration number, the licensee can engage in drug manufacturing, sales, and distribution without any legal hurdles. Obtaining a registration number and manufacturing drug license is a necessary step to ensure the government has regulated the manufacture, sale, and distribution of drugs and medicines in India. 


VII. Advantages of Manufacturing Drug License in India

 1. Access to a large market: India has a large population and a growing demand for medicines, which presents a huge market opportunity for manufacturers with a drug license.
 2. Affordable manufacturing costs: India has a competitive advantage in manufacturing due to low labor costs and availability of skilled manpower.
 3. Government support: The Indian government has taken various initiatives to encourage the manufacture of drugs in India, including tax benefits and subsidies.
 4. Quality assurance: Manufacturing drug license in India requires compliance with strict regulatory requirements, which ensures quality assurance of the medicines produced.
 5. Export opportunities: A drug license in India opens doors for export opportunities to countries worldwide, which can help manufacturers expand their business globally.

 VIII. Disadvantages of Manufacturing Drug License in India

1. Stringent regulatory requirements: Obtaining a manufacturing drug license in India requires strict compliance with regulatory requirements, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
 2. Competitions: The pharmaceutical industry in India is highly competitive, and it can be challenging for new entrants to establish themselves in the market.
 3. Price control: The Indian government regulates the prices of essential medicines, which can impact the profitability of manufacturers.
 4. Patent regulations: The Indian patent regulations are complex and, at times, can have adverse effects on innovation and research and development activities.
 5. Import competition: The Indian market is highly dependent on imported drugs from other countries, which can pose a significant challenge for domestic manufacturers.

 IX. Process of getting a Manufacturing Drug License in India

 1. Application submission: The first step is to submit an application form to the licensing authority, along with all the required documents mentioned in the previous section.
 2. Site inspection: The licensing authority will conduct a site inspection to ensure that the facility meets the required standards.
3. Approval: If the facility passes the inspection, the licensing authority will grant the manufacturing drug license.
 4. Renewal: The license needs to be renewed periodically, and the manufacturer needs to ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements.

 X. Frequently Asked Questions about Manufacturing Drug Licenses in India

1. What is a manufacturing drug license in India, and why is it required?
 A manufacturing drug license is a permit that allows a pharmaceutical company to manufacture drugs in India. It is required to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and to assure the quality of the drugs produced.
2. Who can apply for a manufacturing drug license, and what are the eligibility criteria?
 Any person or company who intends to manufacture drugs in India can apply for a manufacturing drug license. The eligibility criteria include compliance with regulatory requirements and the fulfillment of the infrastructure requirements.
 3. What are the different types of manufacturing drug licenses available in India?
 There are three types of manufacturing drug licenses available in India – Formulation, API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient), and Loan License.
 4. What are the regulatory requirements for obtaining a manufacturing drug license in India?
 The regulatory requirements include compliance with the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, and Rules, 1945, including the fulfillment of infrastructure, manpower, and quality requirements.
 5. How long does it take to obtain a manufacturing drug license in India?
 The time required for obtaining a manufacturing drug license in India varies based on the complexity of the application and the responsiveness of the licensing authority. It typically takes several months to obtain the license.