"It would be better for us to focus on how to make Indonesia a master at home in the context of drug production," Bambang remarked here on Wednesday.
The minister noted that the country is chiefly targeting to meet the domestic demand for raw materials for medicine.
"Maybe we should not think about medicine exports or how to dominate the ASEAN drug market. It would be a remarkable achievement for us if we can dominate the domestic medicine market," he emphasized.
Currently, 90 percent of the drug raw materials and health equipment were imported. The imports should be gradually lowered to make the country self-sufficient in the production of medicines by using its biodiversity.
"Surely, within the next five years, there will be a significant reduction (in imports), although it may yet become a drug self-sufficient country. At least, we can achieve a 70-percent reduction in imports," he added.
The minister admitted to drug production being a lengthy process, as new products would have to clear the pre-clinical study and clinical trial.
"We can understand the difficult procedures, but the point is that we have to start it with adequate research and begin production," he added. Related news: Indonesia's Medicine Regulator Held the First Meeting of the Heads of NMRAs of OIC Countries Towards Medicines and Vaccines Self Reliance
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