Indian model is a global template for low-cost drug discovery
N Madhavan December 18, 2013The way Indian pharmaceutical companies develop drugs is a model that should be followed across the world, said Anita McGahan, Professor of Strategic Management at Rotman School of Management in University of Toronto.
"According to my research, India is way ahead of other emerging market companies such as China and Brazil when it comes to the extent of research and drug discovery. And this at very low cost development offers immense scope to countries like USA whose per capita healthcare spend of $ 10,000 is far higher than the per capita income of many emerging market countries," she added.
India's expertise was in chemical-based pharmaceuticals, vaccines for infectious diseases and the focus on locally relevant global diseases, she said.
G. V. Prasad, Chairman and CEO of Dr Reddy's Laboratories explained that Indian pharma industry was involved in research across the entire chain of products from active ingredients to original drug discovery. It has conquered the world when it comes to the active pharmaceutical ingredients. But he said the industry had a long way to go in developing original drugs.
He attributed the industry's inability to create original drugs to lack of scale. He said even the largest pharmaceutical company in the country was a couple of billion dollars in size. That was not enough to afford engaging in original drug discovery. Industry efforts to partner with global players had also not borne fruits. He also blamed lack of quality talent, lack of venture funding and poor government policies for the lacuna. "Indian companies cannot place large bets because of these reasons," he added.