India needs to ramp up its triple advantage of cost, quality & scale in pharma: Secretary, DoP

S. Aparna emphasized collaboration between large companies and start-ups, industry and academia collaboration by making public research more accessible and collaboration across sectors

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Image- S Aparna Secretary DoP addressing session Indian Pharma Vision 2047.
New Delhi: “India has the triple advantage of cost, quality and scale in the pharma sector and this needs to be ramped up. India has built up reputation for being able to deliver good quality generic medicine, at high production scale and at affordable prices,” says S. Aparna, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals.
Addressing the ‘7th edition of India Pharma & Indian Medical Device 2022’ organized by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Govt of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), Ms Aparna said, “It is a matter of pride that we are able to fulfill 50 per cent of the demand in many of the low-income economy as well as in advance market by supplying on a regular basis good quality generic medicines. This triple advantage in quality, cost, and scale needs now to be ramped up to the next level. It would be important to put our heads together and try to look at world as it will be 25 years hence.”
Ms Aparna further stated that the pace of change is growing very fast in the health sector hence the skills that are required will be agility, ability to overcome redundancy and creativity at every level. “There are three strands which we should focus on regulatory framework, research framework along with the resources including fiscal and talent,” she added.
She also stated that in order to achieve the desired goals we need to work on collaboration. “Collaboration between large companies and start-ups, industry and academia collaboration by making public research more accessible and collaboration across sectors including the drug, devices sector along with the digital sector,” said Ms Aparna.
Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of India said, “The paradigm of health has shifted from health to wellness and to well-being. Health is not limited to what happens in a hospital or between a patient & pharmacy; health is much more than that.”
Highlighting the merits of the Ayushman Bharat program, Mr Bhushan said that under this, the government is planning to operationalize around 1.5 lakh health and wellness centers in the country by 2022. He further stated that the government is planning to spend Rs 65,000 crores in the next 5 years till 2025-26 to create health infrastructure at district levels.
Mr Bhushan also added that during the pandemic, the government worked on the mission mode to repurpose the existing hospital, doctors, beds, at district level. “I urge the industry to collaborate with the government to identify the existing skills set which can be repurposed to suit the emerging needs,” he added.
Mr Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT, Govt of India said that apart from the Make in India, we should also focus on discover in India, innovate in India and then Make in India and this is important especially for the pharma sector. The Budget also focused on the pharma sector as the sun rise industry along with the supportive policy and encouraging R&D by the government. “The most important role for policymakers is to assure collaborative network between the government, industry and academia. We saw this approach during the management of covid & India has successfully ward off the pandemic,” he added.
Mr Jain also highlighted the importance of IPR in the sector and stated that this is the first time that the number of patents filed by Indians exceeded the number of patents filed by non-Indians in India.
Pankaj Patel, Past President, FICCI and Chairman, Zydus Cadila Healthcare said that our goal is to achieve $130 billion by 2030 and in order to achieve that we need 12-13 per cent growth rate. Industries today are not growing at that rate; a significant jump in growth rate would be required and the only way is to move from volume to value game, which means we need to innovate, he added.
Sanjay Murdeshwar, MD, Novartis India said that the vision for 2047 in pharmaceutical sector is based on fundamental belief that when India innovates, the world can certainly benefit. That is the core of what we need to really focus on, he added.
Gagandeep Singh, Country President & MD, AstraZeneca, said that if we have to really look at the Vision 2047, we have to look at the capabilities of the country we have. We stand at the cusp of being leaders in IT, Chemicals and now, a rapidly developing biological powerhouse.
Siddharth Mittal, CEO, Biocon said that India has over 100 biosimilars approved which is the highest of any country in the world. This shows the level of commitment from CDSCO and the Government, he noted.
Dr Viranchi Shah, President, IDMA said that it is imperative for the industry to focus on cost, compliance and adopt innovative process. He also highlighted 5 areas which needs special focus including the supply chain, talent pool, automation, research and technology.