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Indian pharma’s next phase of growth to be fast-tracked by export of services: Suresh Khanna

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Monday, September 13, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Indian pharmaceutical sector’s next phase of growth would be accelerated by the export of research, clinical data management and clinical trials services, said Suresh Khanna, designated partner, Dossier Solutions LLP and national honorary secretary, Indian Pharmaceutical Association.

These would include API development of new molecules, formulation development including analytical validation, stability tests, clinical data management, pharmacovigilance and manufacturing, he added.

We are already seeing India making a headway in this space in the international arena. There are several centres being set up to focus only on clinical data management and pharmacovigilance to spur post marketing surveillance or phase IV trails for many leading global pharma companies in India. Particularly during this ongoing pandemic phase, there are new vaccines, medicines for infection control and medical devices all of which need assessment backed by strong scientific data. This is because such pharma services are expensive abroad and international companies can optimize the cost-advantage and access to dependable quality output when they outsource this business component to India, Khanna told Pharmabiz.

The key benefit to opt for India is the communication expertise and the competence in English language over China. There is access to software tools and all this is supported by a young, qualified pool of human resources.

There is a solid education base in India which has created a ready access to educated workforce attuned to technology. The number of engineering, pharmacy medical dental, biotech and science graduation colleges are a case in point. Further, candidates of D Pharm, B Pharm, M Pharm and Pharm D add on to the intellectual prowess as it strengthens the India capability which global pharma companies cannot overlook when they outsource services from our country. Moreover this is the future opportunity for Indian pharma growth. Although our country is recognized for its medicine manufacturing capability and time-line deliveries, yet pharma services is the crux of intellectual capital in India, noted Khanna adding that this lays the foundation for CRAMS too, noted Khanna.

It is time Indian pharma further strengthens the academia-industry collaboration which is currently insignificant and needs to increase by leaps and bounds on similar lines like that of the developed world. The colleges in the country are the source of the bright minds and this together with the required research equipment and instrumentation could create that spark of innovation in invention or discovery from India, pointed out Khanna.

Unlike manufacture where need for infrastructure is critical to produce the medicines and the medical devices, in pharma services it is intellectual work which is critical for documentation, dossier and medical writing that global pharma is keen to source from India and as their first point of choice, said Khanna.


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