The year 2023 holds a positive outlook for India's pharmaceutical industry, with a deeper focus on quality manufacturing, affordability of drugs and adoption of innovation and technology, experts have said.
According to a recent EY FICCI report, as there has been a growing consensus over providing new innovative therapies to patients, Indian pharmaceutical market is estimated to touch $130 billion in value by the end of 2030. Meanwhile, the global market size of pharmaceutical products is estimated to cross over the $1 trillion mark in 2023.
“Innovation in advanced biologics and cell and gene therapies promises to transform lives, and multiple players including start-ups and academia will help sustain growth in this space. In the year 2023, our focus is to promote research and innovation in the country,” said Vivek Sehgal, Director General, Organisation of Pharmaceutical Producers of India (OPPI).
He further added: “The pharmaceutical industry witnessed the normalisation of trends that emerged in the last three years. Remaining cautious of the simmering issues from different fronts globally, we must prepare ourselves to move up the value chain by scaling up the country’s R&D investments, considering the rising need for robust intellectual property (IP) law and rights, we need to work towards harmonizing our regulatory requirements to global standards."
The sector this year was marked by a greater degree of collaboration between the government and industry, with both playing a pivotal role in helping the sector further strengthen its position in the global market. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the entire landscape of the pharmaceutical industry has had a paradigm shift, with the collaboration between the government and the industry being increasingly seen in a positive light.
According to Sudarsan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance, several initiatives and forward-looking policies were introduced to streamline processes, allowing the pharmaceutical sector to leapfrog to a stronger growth trajectory. “Despite geopolitical issues, India continued to supply medicines to over 200 countries, living up to its reputation as the ‘pharmacy of the world’. The sector also faced challenges this year, however, as the industry expands its footprint around the world, it will need to continuously invest in upgrading manufacturing standards to keep its promise of being a high-quality, reliable supplier of medicines to the world," he noted.
“The key to success, going forward, will depend on regulatory simplification, increased industry-academia collaboration, and strengthening innovation mindset. This will pave the way for the industry to transition from "Volume" to "Value" leadership in the years to come,” he said.
According to the government data, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is worth approximately $50 billion with over $25 billion of the value coming from exports.
Nikkhil K Masurkar, CEO, Entod Pharmaceuticals, that specialises in Ophthalmology, Dermatology and ENT, is of the opinion that Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) and the Indian government are actively working together on PLI 2.0, which can have far-reaching consequences for the sector.
“A sizable amount of imported medical equipment and supplies will be made in India, decreasing India's reliance on imports and ensuring the security of its healthcare system,” he pointed out to Business Today.
“India is making an effort to build a policy framework that incorporates intellectual property and technology commercialization, government procurement, scientific research, education, and skill development, as well as ease of doing business, regulatory legislation, and tax and financial incentives,” he said, adding that these regulatory adjustments will open the door for further private sector investment in pharmaceutical R&D.
While leading pharmaceutical contract manufacturers in India are focusing on ensuring innovative products. To meet sustainability objectives, several manufacturers are also implementing innovative and environmental-friendly packaging.
“Various factors will contribute to the pharma market growth in India are govt. initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana and Ayushman Bharat Yojana under National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS). One of the most notable measures taken so far was the introduction of the PLI Scheme in a bid to promote local manufacturing of APIs, Key Starting Materials (KSMs), and Drug Intermediaries in India,” said Sanjeev Jain, MD, Akums Pharmaceutical.
Till now, a few pharmaceutical companies are being supported under the scheme. The scheme for Strengthening the Pharmaceuticals Industry (SPI), which focuses specifically on MSMEs and pharma clusters in the country, with the aim of providing the necessary support needed for them to boost their productivity, capacity, and quality, is expected to give furthur fillip to the industry.
“The government has a role in boosting research and manufacturing capacities, as well as expanding the PLI scheme so that more local manufacturers can access incentives and support needed to play in the API sector. Additionally, the center’s recent decision to make the QR code mandatory on the packaging label of the top 300 drug formulations is a much-needed and well-thought-out step by the government. It will likely curb the sale of spurious and counterfeit drugs in India,” Jain noted.
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