The Indian pharma industry has risen to the occasion and has made efforts to ensure that medicines and vaccines reach people during the pandemic, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Chairman Satish Reddy said on Friday. Speaking at the 25th Wharton India Economic Forum, he said the Indian pharma industry ensured the continuity of supplies.
He said the crisis itself presented the industry with several opportunities and allowed us to think differently. It asked us to act with a sense of urgency in the interest of the patients because they are looking at us for affordable and accessible medicines, he added. Talking about the opportunities provided by COVID-19, Reddy said that when it came to therapeutics, Indian companies have risen to the occasion, they did it by re-purposing the drugs.
They worked in a collaborative manner with the regulator, to ensure the medicines reach the market fast without compromising any safety standards, he said. "About vaccines, India is in the forefront", even before to the pandemic, around 60 per cent of the global production of vaccines came from India, he said.
When the pandemic came, it was incumbent upon Indian vaccine manufacturers to develop their own vaccines, which some companies such as Zydus and Bharat Biotech have done, and also there were collaborations, partnering with other companies, he added.
Serum Institute of India partnered with Oxford University, Dr Reddy's partnered with Gamaleya Institute of Russia. "This augurs well for the industry because they have risen to the occasion, shown a sense of urgency, got therapeutics and vaccines to the market and not only to supply to the Indian market but to the global market," Reddy said.
Currently, the Indian pharma industry is about $40 billion, with potential in the next 10 years to go to $120 billion to $130 billion. This can be done by building on the existing strengths, and by building on the newer strengths, which can take us there, he added. Right on the top of this is innovation in terms of value creation, another big opportunity in terms of value creation is in biosimilars. There is also a tremendous opportunity in active pharmaceutical ingredients and in generics also, Reddy said.
He added that Indian companies also have proved their mettle in complex and specialty generics. Speaking on the occasion, Lupin Managing Director Nilesh Gupta said the Indian pharma industry took proactive actions during the pandemic and ensured that that manufacturing continued unhindered. We have actually grown from strength to strength. Manufacturing did not stop for a single day despite all kinds of challenges, he added.