Union health minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday asked domestic pharmaceutical industry to focus on the research and development of innovative products to move up the value chain and achieve global leadership.
Mandaviya, who also holds the Chemical and Fertilisers portfolio, asked medical technology companies to produce critical equipment in India for the global markets.
While formally unveiling the National Policy on Research & Development and Innovation in the Pharma-Med Tech Sector here, Mandaviya said the domestic pharmaceutical companies invest less on research and development when compared to multinational companies.
”International MNCs spend 20-25 per cent of their profits in research and innovation while for Indian companies the average is around 10 per cent…Till the time we do not come out with research-led innovative products, we cannot lead the segment globally,” he noted.
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He said the government wants to make the pharma industry self-reliant by 2047. ”Today is a historic day, an inflection point in the journey of ”Atmanirbharta” in the pharma & medical devices sector. We need to transform Indian Pharma & MedTech sectors from a cost-based to a value-based & innovation-based industry,” the minister said.
Mandaviya asked the pharma industry to focus on developing quality products and not just focus on the quantity.
”India can only achieve self-reliance in pharmaceuticals and medical devices by strengthening its research and development infrastructure that would drive the expansion of access to life-saving medicines and drugs and help India become a global pharmaceuticals and medical exports hub,” he added.
He said the government has been working closely with the industry and academia to bring about the changes in the domestic pharma industry in order to lead it to leadership position.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) notified the National Policy on Research & Development and Innovation in the Pharma-Med Tech Sector in India in August this year.
The policy aims to encourage R&D in pharmaceuticals, including traditional medicines, phytopharmaceuticals and medical devices.
It acknowledges the need for greater emphasis on encouraging R&D through indigenously developed products and technologies across the value chain so as to sustain global competitiveness.
The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers also formally unveiled the Scheme for Promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma MedTech Sector (PRIP), which intends to transform the domestic pharma and medical technology sector from cost-based to innovation-based growth by strengthening the research infrastructure in the country.
The scheme, with a budget outlay of Rs 5,000 crore, will focus on transforming India into a high-volume, high-value player in the global market of pharmaceuticals, meeting the quality, accessibility, and affordability goals. It will also enhance our share in the global value chain, Mandaviya said.
NITI Aayog member V K Paul said the policy along with other initiatives like PLI schemes for the pharma sector is expected to change the entire pharma sector landscape.
ICMR Director General Rajiv Bahl termed the National Policy on Research & Development and Innovation in the Pharma-Med Tech Sector as historic. ”This is probably the most important scheme we have probably seen in the past several years,” he stated.
The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest pharmaceutical industry in the world by volume with a current market size of around USD 50 billion. Going forward, the industry could potentially grow to USD 120-130 billion over the next decade.