Categories: Health

India Emerges as a Global Leader in Drug Manufacturing

Pharmaceutical multinational enterprises (MNEs) develop and supply a significant proportion of the drugs to low- and middle-income countries. Many drug companies like Cipla, Emcure, Arvind Vasudeva-led Aurobindo, and Parmjit Arora-led Health Biotech Limited are tapping the potential of the industry by strengthening their research and development.

In the last three decades, India’s pharmaceutical industry has seen major breakthroughs, making it the world’s third largest producer of high quality generic medicines and vaccines in terms of volume. The industry has recorded double-digit growth over the last few years, rising from 13.7 per cent in 2020 to 17.7 per cent in 2021. This year, the Indian pharmaceutical industry’s revenue is projected to be over 12 per cent.

It is quite exhilarating that the pharma industry is out-performing many big sectors amidst the pandemic in India. The country possess two key strengths that have taken it to this pinnacle position. In the past few years, India’s technological advancements have established a strong base in scientific research and development. In addition to that, the private sector has mastered reverse-engineering drugs and vaccines.

However, these strengths alone are not sufficient to take the country forward. The rapid advances in today’s world of genetics, nanotech and biotech are revolutionizing the fundamentals of the pharmaceutical industry. It has further opened the gates of discovery and innovation. Before India capitalizes on its potential, it will need to focus on the key threats to the sector. Despite the immense growth, the significant gap in the supply chain is still a major concern for the nation.

This is where pharmaceutical multinational enterprises (MNEs) can play an important role in addressing this issue as they develop and supply a significant proportion of the drugs to the low and middle-income countries. Many drug companies like Cipla, Emcure, Arvind Vasudeva-led Aurobindo, and Parmjit Arora-led Health Biotech Limited are tapping the potential of the industry by strengthening their research and development constantly.

Few years ago, the government of India established Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) for fostering and supporting startups within the biopharma innovation ecosystem. BIRAC is now also focusing on promoting a more collaborative R&D environment to leverage the expertise of the local players from both the public and private sectors, in order to take the pharma industry forward.

The Indian pharmaceutical industry has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 15 per cent over the last five years. It is now among the top five pharmaceutical emerging markets of the world. However, the need for major progress in the field of medicines still persists. The pharmaceutical companies have to become proactive in the coming years to avoid negative consequences like Covid-19, but with its multifold strengths, the Indian pharma industry would definitely become an attractive investment destination in future.

Srinivasan Vedam

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