India’s clinical research efforts make in-roads for joint new drug discoveries: Malavika Kaura Saxena

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India is at the forefront of outsourced clinical research which has opened in-roads for collaborative new drug discoveries, said Malavika Kaura Saxena, director, domestic marketing, Rusan Pharma.

From a competitive landscape, technological changes to new drug discoveries, innovative R&D partnerships and marketing plans are reshaping and helping the business strategies of many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, she added.

Quoting the latest research report from the MIT Program on the Pharmaceutical Industry (POPI), Saxena said that many companies are looking for ways to increase productivity, decrease costs, and develop new treatment modalities that will enhance profitability.

As Indian pharma enters its next phase of growth, there is a need for stronger collaboration with the government for support in the form of enabling policies and a conducive ecosystem to help take the industry to the next level.

The sector is one of the largest providers of generic drugs exporting it to over 200 countries and US is a key market among others where it has gained a strong foothold with its high-quality products in both finished dosage forms (FDF) and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API).

“Union Cabinet has given its gesture for the amendment of the current Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) arrangement for pharmaceuticals. It has permitted 100 percent under the programmed route for assembling and manufacturing of medical devices subject to specific conditions. Indian pharma pulled in total FDI worth US$ 15.93 billion between April 2000 and December 2018 as per the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT),” she said.

Another sector within the pharmaceuticals that has seen and will continue to see robust growth is the nutraceutical segment. India is currently witnessing lifestyle changes. This has led to a rise diabetes, hyper tension, obesity and cardiovascular problems, among others. In turn, it has led to an increase in demand for nutritional supplements among the middle, upper middle and upper classes of society.

Given this scenario, nutraceutical consumption is growing by the day, as consumers are looking for products to boost energy and enhance physical immunity and mental sharpness to manage wellness. People are now more focused on healthy ageing and living well, besides reduce healthcare expenses, which is an extremely important consideration in as the cost of medical care is increasing by the day.

There is consumer awareness on health issues and the interest to take preventive steps will continue to drive the nutraceuticals industry. As medication and wellness spends in India are consistently on a growth trajectory, going forward companies in the pharmaceutical industry will need to align their product portfolios towards non communicable diseases, said Saxena.

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