“The Government of India, under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership is committed to promoting Indian Life Sciences as a globally competitive sector to ensure the availability, accessibility, and affordability of drugs and medical devices in domestic and global markets”. This was stated by Dr Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare as he addressed the roundtable discussion on “Opportunities in R&D and Innovation in Life Sciences at the World Economic Forum, in Davos today. The purpose of the meeting was to establish an affordable and accessible life sciences ecosystem, identify the gaps in the life sciences industry, extend opportunities for knowledge exchange and encouragement of innovation in R&D and identify investment opportunities to create a robust R&D and innovation ecosystem to increase the competitiveness of life sciences industry.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya said that a large share of global value capture (nearly 40% of a market of 6.65 trillion USD) in the life sciences sector lies in innovation-based products. Promoting drug discovery and innovation will unlock this value and will also enhance the industry’s contribution to Indian economy (additional USD 10-12 Bn in exports every year) and create a large pool of jobs to enhance India’s differentiation vis a vis other developing economy.
The increased spending on healthcare globally, the increase in the size of the Indian middle class, the commitment to Universal Healthcare and the attention to schemes such as Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) and Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), etc., have created a sustained demand trajectory for Pharma and MedTech sectors.
The demand for better therapeutic outcomes, trends in personalized diagnostics, in-home treatment, wearables, telemedicine, etc. has created scope for differentiated products and service offerings.
In order to capture these opportunities, the Union Health Minister urged the Pharma-MedTech sectors to move out of their comfort zone and adopt innovation as a driving feature of their business strategies. He stated that “India is now poised to take on the global arena and move from high-volume to high-value products”.
India is taking concerted and coordinated efforts on R&D and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector to indigenously develop cutting-edge products and technologies and promoting an enabling ecosystem for innovation in this sector to become a leader in drug discovery and innovative medical devices.
In this regard, he stated that the Union Govt is focusing on three major areas:
- Strengthening the regulatory framework to facilitate innovation and research in product development. Indian regulators are now working towards establishing global harmonization in this regard, with modifications in the regulatory provisions.
- Incentivizing investments in innovation through a mix of fiscal and non-fiscal measures, thereby matching risks with remunerative financing options. “We are looking at a range of interventions that would facilitate funding support for innovation such as schemes to support investments into R&D innovation, reimbursement of R&D spending and designing appropriate fiscal incentives to promote R&D”, he stated.
- Creating a facilitatory ecosystem to support innovation and cross-sectoral research as a strong institutional mechanism for sustainable growth in the research and development and innovation sector.
Dr Mandaviya also highlighted recent efforts initiated by the Government to integrate traditional medicines and phyto-pharmaceuticals into the mainstream public dialogue and practice. He stated that the growth pattern in this segment will have direct and indirect impacts on employment, the farming community, industry, and academia.
He also informed about the Govt’s support to the Medical Devices sector by a production-linked incentive scheme and underlined that the bio-pharmaceuticals sector has delivered a 5-year Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 50%.
The Union Minister reiterated Hon’ble Prime Minister’s clarion call for ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ i.e “Self-reliant India” andhighlighted that India can only achieve self-reliance in pharmaceuticals and medical devices by strengthening its R&D infrastructure that would drive the expansion of access to life-saving medicines and drugs and help India become a global pharmaceuticals and medical devices exports hub.
Dr Mandaviya encouraged the Pharma-MedTech industries to adopt innovation as a driving feature of their business strategies. “India is now poised to take on the global arena and move from high-volume to high-value products”, he stated.