By Shyamakant Giri
Over the past year, the pharma industry has witnessed greater collaboration, adapted quickly, and adopted innovative approach to deliver high quality medicines continuously during the pandemic and beyond. The industry has shown unwavering commitment to support the country’s healthcare needs as well as enhance its footprint across the world.
According to a recent EY FICCI analysis, with a rising consensus on offering new breakthrough cures to patients, the Indian pharmaceutical market is expected to reach $130 billion in value by the end of 2030.
A bright future stands ahead for India’s pharmaceutical business in 2023, with a greater emphasis on quality manufacturing, medicine affordability, and the use of innovation and technology. However, to combat certain challenges like low R&D spending, scarcity of skilled labor, intellectual property (IP) regulations and rights, and potential export contraction, a high level of agility and resilience is required. Following are some of the key trends that the industry is likely to experience in the coming year.
- Proactive Quality Management System
The medicine manufacturing and distribution supply chain is a long and complex one. But in the coming years, the Indian pharmaceutical industry should look more closely at advanced tracking systems and introduce better tracing-related technologies. This is nothing new for Indian pharmaceutical manufacturers and exporters. The government previously had implemented a comprehensive traceability system known as Drug Authentication & Verification Application (DAVA) for both export and domestic markets in 2015. The program provided consumers and regulatory authorities with easier ways to prove drug authenticity and safeguard India’s brand image in international markets. However now the Pharma companies will progressively focus on strengthening their self-monitoring systems recognizing their moral need to do more.
- Digital Technologies
India, known as the ‘Pharmacy to the World’, already has expertise in low-cost generic patented medications as well as end-to-end production. As the country’s footprint grows, pharmaceutical companies are progressively adopting technology to upgrade their manufacturing capacities while also harmonizing regulatory requirements to meet global standards. The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) Pharma 4.0 framework also recommends the use of digitalization, cloud technologies, and process automation to enable efficiency, consistent quality, and right-the-first-time manufacturing while being sensitive to the environment.
Pharma businesses in India are going beyond overall operations of pharmaceutical manufacturing and leveraging digital technologies to communicate with key stakeholders including the healthcare professionals and patients in addition to drug research. Through data analysis, companies can now have entire visibility into a patient’s path, from diagnosis to disease care, thanks to clever automation. This data-driven knowledge, in turn, aids in drug development and, as a result, has the potential to improve patient outcomes in future.
- Precision Medicine
Precision medicine is increasingly becoming an area of focus in the Indian pharmaceutical industry, which arose from the concept of personalization and customization of medical care. The most important component of this is to diagnose and treat each patient as an individual. Precision medicine is all about offering real-time insights into how a specific patient’s body is responding to pharmaceuticals by combining data management, data privacy, and data analysis through Machine Learning. This knowledge is proposed to improve advanced clinical manufacturing procedures, such as establishing drug exposure models to predict pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic features to prepare the needed dosage depending on age, comorbidities, and other clinical parameters.
- Emerging Markets – Drive Innovation
With the flattening of growth in pharma sales in developed countries, drug makers are increasingly looking to emerging markets for new sources of growth and revenue. This means pharmaceutical companies will focus on global competencies with strategies tailored for local markets to stay competitive. Market research firm IMARC projects that the global “pharmerging” market — which includes countries that presently have a low position in the market but are rapidly growing — will experience a compound annual growth rate of 10.4% from 2021 to 2026. IMARC cites the following reasons for growth in the pharmerging market:
- The prevalence of chronic diseases and an increase in consumer awareness about treatment
- Government actions aimed at lowering the cost of treating chronic diseases
- Aging populations that face issues such as cardiac failure and hypertension
- Growth in health insurance in pharmerging countries
In addition to these trends, 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. Because of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical sector’s entire landscape has shifted, with collaboration between the government and the industry increasingly viewed in a positive light. In 2023, these partnerships are most likely to grow as we see an increase in government schemes and initiatives for manufacturing, skill development and other crucial areas of growth for the industry. All of this can tremendously help the industry’s growth rate in coming years, while enhancing India’s potential to become the world’s preferred pharmaceutical investment destination.
(The author is a Managing Director & President, India Business and Emerging Markets, Amneal Healthcare. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)