“World’s R&D destination of the future – India”
The pharmaceutical and life sciences industry is undergoing a period of profound transformation. Many analysts agree that the industry is moving from the era of ‘blockbuster drug’ to a new operating model known as personalized medicine.
The most important event in the pharmaceutical industry has been the Patent Act of 1970, which has transformed our industry to a supplier of low cost medicines, initially within India and now to the world. This dramatic low cost revolution has helped penetrate the availability of medicines and made it accessible to a large part of India and in these 30 odd years this accessibility has moved up from 20% to more than 80% now. In fact, nearly 99% medicines used in India are produced in India. This is basically because of the existence of a large number of scientists who have leveraged their scientific skills to develop new chemistry technologies.
Today, India produces 22% medicines of the global generic market. In the last decade, after liberalization, Indian industry has focused on the world market and brought about structural and fundamental changes like investing in research and accessing the global market.
According to Department of Biotechnology, about 165 institutions in the country are engaged in genetic engineering research. India is one of the few countries, that has developed stem cell lines as a part of the stem cell network worldwide. According to the Accelerator Group Outlook, the contract research organization (C.R.O.) market is set to grow to US$ 1 billion by 2010.
India has now earned global recognition for the inherent strength in the knowledge society. This will accelerate the process of research in India. For example, companies like Pfizer, Novartis and Glaxo have started their Clinical Research Organizations in India and in times to come, other companies will create major research hubs in India, in addition to US, Europe and Japan.
India’s one billion populations offer a new advantage to pharmaceutical and many other industries. It provides a large consumer base, a large number of subjects for clinical trials and diverse profiles required for clinical assessment. These factors make India an interesting place to do clinical research; to evaluate new medicines, medical equipments, instruments etc. much faster, make newer approach in these areas, in addition to making the treatment available to the world much faster.
This growth has led the players in the Indian pharmaceutical industry to explore newer avenues of drug research, discovery and development; thus promising higher capital investments in the near future. Many multinational companies have also entered India to market drugs and conduct clinical trials and research. Indian pharmaceutical research, manufacturing, and outsourcing have received an impetus, creating the image of a land of opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. In addition, there is tremendous potential presented in the Indian Pharma market itself, with the consumer spending on healthcare going up from four percent of GDP in 1995 to seven percent in 2007. This figure is expected to go up to 13 percent of GDP by 2015. According to a recent McKinsey report, that will turn India into a $20 billion Pharma market.