Govt’s multi-billion dollar plan to boost pharma
To push India into the list of top five pharmaceutical innovation hubs by 2020 and establish a global presence by launching one out of every 5-10 drugs discovered in India at global level, the government is preparing multi-billion dollar investment with 50 per cent public funding through public private partnership (PPP) model to enhance innovation capability, an ASSOCHAM study has stated.
The government has been very active in boosting growth and investment in Indian pharmaceutical industry. It allows 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) under automatic route (without prior permission) in the pharmaceuticals sector.
“The FDI favourably impacts the Indian pharma industry by providing access to more capital/funds for investing in R&D, which in turn, leads to creation of more intellectual property rights (IPR), highlighted the study titled ‘IPR in pharmaceuticals: Balancing, innovation and access’, jointly conducted by ASSOCHAM and TechSci Research.
The government has been actively undertaking policy initiatives for the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. One such initiative is tax-breaks. There is also a weighted tax deduction at a rate of 150% for the research and development expenditure incurred. Steps to streamline methods for development of a new drug molecule, or clinical research, etc., have also been considered.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) data suggests that the drugs and pharmaceuticals sector in India has attracted FDI worth US $ 1,523 million during the period between April 2014 and March 2015.
Additionally, industrial licences are not essential in India for most of the pharmaceutical products. Hence, drug manufacturers are free to develop any drug upon approval by the Drug Control Authority.
The act of protecting one’s innovation through a patent has initiated investments from many multinational pharmaceutical companies in India. These MNCs are looking at India for its strength in contract manufacturing and as an attractive base for research and development (R&D), particularly for conducting clinical trials and other services.
Indian and foreign pharmaceutical companies are progressing with rising patented drug launches in India. The Indian Patent Office granted 2008 patents between 2010 and 2013.
The Department of Pharmaceuticals has drafted Pharma Vision 2020 document, with an aim to establish India as a leading country for end-to-end drug manufacturing and innovation. This initiative by the government aims at providing support to Indian pharmaceutical sector through state of- the-art infrastructure, internationally competitive scientific research personnel for pharmaceutical R&D, and funding for research in the public and private sectors.
The Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), which falls under the scope of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is the main pharma regulatory body in India. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) presides over the CDSCO at both the central and state levels.