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KDPMA notes Centre’s proposed programme on research & innovation to propel time-bound action

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Friday, February 17, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Karnataka Drugs and Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (KDPMA) is of the view that Union government’s new programme on research & innovation will propel time-bound action in drug development.

According to Harish K Jain, president, KDPMA, Sr VP, FOPE and COA Member representing MSME, Pharmexcil, there is immense potential for research and innovation in the sector as the recent coronavirus pandemic proved.

The Covid crisis saw industry and research institutions innovating and brining out solutions to fight and manage the pandemic. The presence of a large number of premier research institutions across the country has the potential to accelerate the pace of drug development. To spur research, the government must incentivize industry-academia collaborations, KDPMA noted.

India is also the hub for contract research which is a proof of high quality and dependable timeline deliveries, catering to stringent global customers. This also proves that India has a strong ecosystem for life sciences. The Covid pandemic is a case in point as Indian lifesciences sector stood up to prove their mettle in vaccine tech transfer and manufacture, medical devices and point of care diagnostics apart from hospital consumables like dismantable ICU beds and protective gears.

The presence of 1,100 pharmacy colleges in the country and NIPERS create of pool for future qualified pharmaceutical workforce. All this will spur research and innovation. Therefore we see the government’s initiative to encourage research and innovation as a positive step.

There is an urgent need for the Indian pharma and biotech industry to shift focus from generic drug/API (active pharmaceutical ingredient) to research and development intensive, innovative and novel drugs (for example, biologics, specialty and targeted immunotherapies), and complex biosimilar manufacturing endeavours, said Jain.

A strong industry-academia collaboration shall play a cataclysmic role in building an innovation ecosystem in India. Although India commands over 10% of the global pharmaceutical industry market share by volume, it represents only 1.4% in terms of market value by revenue, he said.

As the global branded drug market shifts from small molecules to innovative large molecules like the biologics constitute nearly 50% of drugs by value, the Indian generic industry is at a critical inflection point. Further, emphasis on building entrepreneurship and leadership culture is central. While, multidisciplinary approach in research is necessary, skill development too is much needed.

Therefore we see that the Centre’s call to discuss its proposed promotion of research & innovation is an indication of the thrust to encourage novel development in a speedy manner, said Jain.


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