Recently, Thailand has been focusing on upgrading its standards and promoting increased investment in its pharmaceutical industry. By 2008, the government has mandated that all manufacturing companies must update their quality systems to meet Good Manufacturing Practice standards based on the international Pharmaceutical Inspection Cooperation Scheme (PIC/S). PIC/S, established to increase harmonization, currently has 30 participating authorities. It is the only international standard to establish a team of inspectors to check a candidate’s drug manufacturing procedure.
Thailand has also, through the Board of Investment (BOI), expanded its promotional activities to include the production not only active ingredients but also of finished products, such as vaccines and medicines. BOI also provides incentives to encourage drug manufacturers to improve operations and invest in new factories through import duty exemptions on machinery and corporate income tax exemptions.
Currently, there are about 170 privately owned companies, with only a few compliant with GMP standards. Compliance with international standards was heavily lobbied by the Thai Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, which spent seven years setting up meetings and discussing issues.