The Indian pharmaceutical industry—which has for the past few years been going through an inflexion— has realized that it is even more imperative now to step on the transformation trajectory.
Glenn Saldanha, managing director and CEO, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
The government needs to make radical changes if it wants India to remain a major player in the global pharmaceutical industry. In addition to retaining our cost-competitiveness, the government should work to make India the hub for discovery research and development (R&D), which can bring the same change that software brought in the last decade. This has the potential to create thousands of new jobs while discovering new cures for various diseases.
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The government needs to treat discovery R&D separately and incentivize organizations that are making progress in this area, as investment for taking a single molecule to market runs into millions of dollars.
The government also needs to strengthen and increase capital outlay for academic institutions engaged in scientific research. It needs to find new ways to explore public-private partnerships in the area of innovative research.
R&D awards for scientific innovation would also be a big boost. Clearly, the time is now. India has the potential to graduate from a cost-competitive destination to a land of innovation. Government intervention and support will play a huge role in making this aspiration a reality.
As told to C.H. Unnikrishnan