Hansraj Ahir, Minister of State for Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals, Government of India, has assured all support to the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry to grow and reach global scales for catering to the burgeoning domestic and global markets.
While addressing the CII’s 13th National Pharmaceuticals Conclave in New Delhi, the minister said that the industry should come forward to address the huge prospects and challenges ahead in segments like manufacture of bulk drugs, medical equipment and in on research and development. The government would lend all possible support in the endeavour to make India a quality and cost effective pharma hub. The programs launched recently, such as Make in India, Skill India, Start up India etc. would give a critical push to the entire chain of life sciences, he added.
Exhorting industry to look beyond their balance sheet, the minister observed that they should make quality drugs at affordable prices to the common man. In his regard, he mentioned about various initiatives taken by the present government to reduce the prices of the life saving drugs to make them affordable to the common man. Diseases like diabetes, cardio vascular problems etc. are afflicting a large number of people particularly from the poorer strata of the society. “We have to find newer approaches for diagnosis and treatment of patients since such diseases go unnoticed, particularly among the poorer sections of the society,” he said.
While giving the keynote address, Dr VK Subburaj, Secretary, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers said that the pharmaceutical sector in India would become a USD 300 billion industry by 2020.“Achieving that target presents itself both prospects and challenges. On the one side industry should proactively gear up to emerge as a quality drug producer of the world, and on the other, there is the need for forging greater synergies between the government, industry and other stakeholders,” he said, adding that it was important to have positive approach towards conflict resolution among players since some of the simple issues are taking longer time for their resolution. “We have to develop a proactive approach to solve such issues based on the principle of give and take,” he pointed out.
Dr Subburaj said that with consultations with the stakeholders the government has finalised a uniform marketing code and would be announced soon. It took a longer duration than that was warranted to finalise the code on account of differing views and perceptions among the stakeholders. He also said that an interministerial committee was formed recently and had meetings to frame the guidelines for the environmental clearances needed for the manufacture of bulk drugs. The notification of the guidelines will be issued any day from now, he disclosed.
The Secretary also referred to several initiatives taken by the state governments in setting up the Bulk Drugs Parks, which are under various stages of planning and implementation.In this regard, he said that the efforts of India are far below the achievement of China, where there are as many as thirty five Rand D centres, which have sprung up to give a leg up to the pharmaceutical sector. He also referred to the headway India has made in exporting generic drugs in the recent years. “Our exports are poised to increase in the coming years. We have achieved cost competitiveness and now we have to focus on quality to further enhance our global foothold,” he told the industry. He also explained the initiatives of the government in revamping the drug control act and toning up the regulatory mechanism.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr Rajiv I Modi, Chairman, CII national can committee on pharma and CMD Cadila Pharmaceuticals mentioned about the need for ensuring higher returns on capital invested in the pharmaceutical sector to motivate more domestic and international players to invest in the sector.
KG Ananthakrishan, Co Chairman, CII National Committee on Pharma and MD, MSD Pharmaceuticals, said that pharma sector can play pivotal role in achieving the vision of “Healthy India”. The theme of the conclave- Make, Develop and Innovate- encompasses the three critical components that the industry can grow and contribute substantially to the national economy.
Murtaza Khorakkiwala, Cochairman, CII National Committee on pharma and MD, Wockhardt wanted further incentivisation of Rand D efforts and creating a strong patent regime.