The center is soon to come up with an exclusive Research and Development policy for the pharmaceutical sector soon as it looks to take India’s pharma sector on par with countries like US and Europe.
The center is soon to come up with an exclusive Research and Development policy for the pharmaceutical sector soon as it looks to take India’s pharma sector on par with countries like US and Europe. “We are working (on the R&D policy) … so our department has taken the initiative through industry academia interaction for framing this policy and we are likely to finalise it shortly,” PD Vaghela, Secretary of Department of Pharmaceuticals, said at a virtual event organised on the 77th Foundation day of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology on Wednesday, PTI reported. He also said that this will be a major push for scientists to come up with new innovations.
Talking about the three challenges faced by the sector, PD Vaghela said that India currently imports 86% of the total requirement of medical devices including surgical, cardiac stents and electronic gadgets as importing is cheaper. Other than India’s import dependence, the sector also faces the hurdles of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and lack of R&D in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector combined with skilling.
To bolster India’s R&D in pharma, the government is mulling on setting up three National Centres of Excellences (CoE) for drugs, medical devices in the country. Also, the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) will also house one CoE for drug discovery. Stating that there is a need to reward scientists who achieve breakthrough innovations, PD Vaghela said: “We should be ready that our scientists also become millionaires. If they (scientists) can invent good products and do some research, why not? That is happening in Europe and the US. Why not in India?” Further, he also said that those scientists who are working in a government institute must also be rewarded if they invent something worth commercialising.
Indian pharmaceutical industry accounts for 3.5% of the total medicines exported across the world and is also the third largest in the world by volume. As of 2019-20, the total size of pharmaceutical and related industry including medical devices was pegged at $51 billion.