The Indian pharmaceutical industry is on a good growth path and is likely to be in the top 10 global markets in value term by 2020, says PwC’s CII report titled ‘India Pharma Inc: Gearing up for the next level of growth’.Presently, India stands third as the maker of drugs and chemicals after Ireland and Netherlands and is placed in an equivalent pedestal to United States in terms of the SME production.In terms of value, India holds 14th place at global market of drug producers.
The last decade noticed number of challenges for Indian pharmaceuticals.The prominent one being failure to adopting and practicing compliance.Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP)ensures ethical and compliance ecosystem in the market of pharma and has executed varying degree of processes leading to serious improvements.Standardization of drugs is the key area where the government iscurrently struggling,as the country lacks dogmas of any kind for the pharma setups to follow. Various notices were issued from the international front raising question the discrepancies and regulations. In the 2009 survey of Central Drug Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO), the drug regulatory authority of India found 0.046% spurious samples.
Another major challenge that the government is trying to mitigate is low number of specialists. A plan to create national task force by revising the syllabi of under-graduation and graduation programme for Life Sciences and Biotechnology is a part of National Biotech Development Strategy. Number of Ph.D. fellowship to be increased to 200 a year, will be awarded by the Department of Biotechnology, leveraging the scholars to “Bio-Edu-Grid” incorporating academia for the best industrial practices.
To invite overseas funders, the government has also taken down the complicated processes making foreign direct investment 100% without the need of compulsory licensing. And at home, Ministry of Science and Technology has given extensive support at central and regional level to encourage the growth of the industry by providing tax incentives, grants for biotech start-ups, financial assistance with patents and subsidies on investment, land and utilities.
Though the private, government, national and international bodies are closely involved in taking the pharma sector in India forward, there are a few challenging areas which needs to be resolved first hand to maintain the growth and momentum.
- Mandatory Medical Insurance for Masses
In year 2010, only 5.51% Indians were covered under medical insurance, that too, when India stands 3rd in producing medicines in the world.
- Dominance of private-owned hospitals and medicare
There’s no denying that having access to healthcare has becomea matter of luxury due to uprising and unregulated price tags of non-government hospital services.
- Need of price capping on medicines
With no stringent rules and regulations at place, pharmaceuticals and health care service providers vary huge in pricing the same combination of drugs. A policy to cap the prices of the medicines is very important to make them accessible and affordable for all.