At present, the availability of drugs, active ingredients and intermediates for drug manufacture often depends on imports. The growing cost of such imports makes it imperative for most developing countries to consider the local formulation and/or basic manufacture of as wide a range of bulk drugs as possible.
The main constraints on the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in countries are: inadequate technological capability; lack of qualified and trained personnel; high cost and limited availability of imported bulk drugs and intermediates; scarcity of financing available on terms and conditions suitable for the industry; and absence of well-defined national policies to promote the growth of the industry. Furthermore, because of the scarce resources available in most developing countries, the decision to develop a domestic pharmaceutical capability has to compete with other national development projects. Hence it is unrealistic for most developing countries to hope that domestic production will be able to make them self-sufficient in drugs, especially since the drug industry is divided into several quite separate therapeutic markets.