Collaborations can establish supportive ecosystem for research, innovation, manufacturing of high-value pharmaceuticals, ET HealthWorld

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By Prabhat Prakash & Prarthana Sharma

Mumbai: The fourth edition of the Re-Pharma Summit 2024, themed ‘Reinvent, Restructure, and Reform’, served as a vital platform for Indian pharma sector leaders to deliberate on the transformative shift the industry is undergoing and how it is shaping the industry in the years to come.

As the Indian pharmaceutical sector steers away from volume-driven generics towards high-value pharmaceuticals and cutting-edge medications. Focusing on the imperative to move from volume-centric practices to value-based processes, the Re-Pharma Summit 2024 featured prominent industry figures discussing key insights, initiatives, and the vision to position India as a global leader in the pharmaceutical domain by 2047. The summit commenced with a panel discussion on ‘Volume-to-Value in the Indian Pharmaceutical Ecosystem’.

The participants for the discussion included Dr Jitendra Kumar, Managing Director, BIRAC, Vikrant Shrotriya, Corporate Vice President & Managing Director, Novo Nordisk India Private Limited, Sukanya Choudhury, Executive Vice President – Regulator, GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals and Bhalchandra Barve, Joint Managing Director, Blue Cross Laboratories Pvt Ltd. The session was moderated by Kaushik Desai, Secretary General, International Pharmaceutical Excipients’ Council of India (IPEC India).

The panellists initiated the discussion with an emphasis on the importance of fostering a collaborative and cohesive environment with multiple stakeholders including government, academia, and industry to ensure breakthroughs in next-generation products from the lab to the market. The conversation focused on the worldwide trend toward biologics, wherein a notable surge in earnings is anticipated within the following half-decade. India’s biologics industry is expected to grow rapidly, yet there are still obstacles to overcome. The panel discussed the necessity of a thorough legal framework for data privacy and an environment that supports intellectual property rights to foster ongoing innovation. One example given to encourage the adoption of advanced manufacturing technology was the US FDA‘s Advanced Manufacturing Evolution effort.

Choudhary said, “We have the strong support and billing from the government to make this transition from Make in India to Discovery in India.”

She signified a change in emphasis toward promoting domestic research, innovation, and discovery in the pharmaceutical industry. This shift is indicative of a deliberate emphasis on advancing scientific research and encouraging domestic innovation.

The demand for a strong innovation ecosystem is shown by the development of high-value drugs, rising consumer demands, and technological improvements. The move in the pharmaceutical business toward biologics, which is expected to generate six times more income in the next six years, brings with it both potential and challenges.

With the pharmaceutical sector expected to grow to $30 billion by 2030 and an ambitious $450 billion by 2047, strategic reevaluation is necessary to keep up with this expansion. This entails encouraging innovation, welcoming the launch of new products, and utilising technology developments in automation and digitisation.

Dr Kumar mentioned the role of innovation in the pharmaceutical industry’s progress, emphasising the necessity of concentrating on the creation of new goods and technology that can cut prices and benefit a wide audience. This demonstrates a dedication to using innovation to improve the nation’s healthcare system’s affordability and accessibility.

The conversation also revolved around how government initiatives, including the R&D incentive programmes and the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI), support innovation and research in the medtech and pharmaceutical industries. To ensure the success of these schemes, business and government collaboration is crucial, as is the necessity for effective communication and awareness about them.

Barve highlighted the significance of changing organisational culture to adopt value-based strategies rather than volume-based KPIs. This change is indicative of a larger trend in the pharmaceutical sector that places more emphasis on affordability, quality, and results than just output volume.

The regulatory environment is being closely examined as the pharmaceutical sector transitions to producing biologics, biosimilars, and high-value medications. The panel discussed the difficulties and possibilities, emphasising the necessity of regulatory flexibility to adapt to the changing pharmaceutical market.

Shrotriya added, “When we step up that investment locally, also in India, along with the government impetus, and institutions I think there is going to be a movement for the innovations to come.”

He emphasised the potential for cooperation between government initiatives and private sector investments to drive improvements in the field and underlined the need for more investment in research and innovation within India’s pharmaceutical industry. This indicates a common dedication to creating an atmosphere that is favourable for the advancement and innovation of pharmaceuticals.

The discussion concluded on the note that to guarantee a better and more sustainable future for the Indian pharmaceutical industry, government, and academia must collaborate to establish an ecosystem that supports research, innovation, and the manufacturing of high-value pharmaceuticals.

  • Published On Feb 2, 2024 at 05:28 PM IST

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