Indian Pharma Inc hails Budget 2024 pro-development stance, ET HealthWorld

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Mumbai: The interim Union Budget for 2024 was presented in Parliament by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on February 1, 2024. Due to the impending 2024 elections, various aspects were not included in the budget, which the pharma industry leaders are expecting to be addressed in the July budget. However, the announcement has been commended for the sustained focus on healthcare by the Indian government.

Pharma leaders are viewing this as an opportunity for a dedicated focus by increasing allocations dedicated to fostering innovation, research, technology, and cutting-edge solutions. ETPharma brings to you the views and perspectives of some industry leaders on the budget announcement.

This forward-looking approach will benefit nation’s citizens, strengthen India‘s position on global stage

Dr Himanshu Gadgil, CEO Ezene Biosciences, expressed, “It’s commendable to see sustained focus on healthcare. While this financial commitment is promising, there is a notable opportunity for further enhancement by increasing allocations dedicated to innovation. A strategic emphasis on fostering innovation in healthcare can empower India to not only address current challenges more efficiently but also position itself as a leader among global south countries in shaping progressive policies for the evolving healthcare landscape. By investing in research, technology, and cutting-edge solutions, India can not only meet its growing healthcare needs but also contribute significantly to global health advancements. This forward-looking approach will not only benefit the nation’s citizens but also strengthen India’s position on the global stage as a proactive and innovative player in healthcare.”

Looking forward to upcoming Union Budget prioritising women’s health, research and innovation

Shweta Rai, Director, Bayer Zydus Pharma Private Limited, Country Division Head, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Business, South Asia, said, “The interim Budget 2024 has some notable announcements highlight the government’s aim to prioritise women’s health in the country, which is commendable. We welcome the move to improve the rate of HPV vaccination in the country and integrate schemes for maternal health and childcare under one umbrella will help to streamline the implementation of both schemes and improve the impact on women’s and children’s health. We look forward to more announcements and opportunities in the upcoming Union Budget that would prioritise women’s health along with research and innovation to improve the pharma landscape in the country.“Emphasis on technology will enable our industries to procure raw materials domestically at more competitive prices

Dr Saloni Wagh, Director, Supriya Lifescience, shared, “Embracing the ambitious economic blueprint set forth by the government for ‘Vikasit Bharat’, we stand ready to witness India’s emergence as the world’s foremost and swiftest-growing economy over the next decade. The anticipated fiscal deficit of 5.1 per cent of GDP instills confidence, signalling economic prosperity for the nation.

The implementation of reforms to bolster the government’s Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative has been well-received and is poised to position India as the second-largest manufacturing hub globally. The emphasis on technology will enable our industries to procure raw materials domestically at more competitive prices, thus reducing overall production costs and enhancing our competitiveness both on the global and domestic fronts.

The commitment to immunise girls aged 9–14 against cervical cancer aligns seamlessly with our public health objectives. The government’s focus on ‘One Nation, One Market, One Tax’ through GST has streamlined compliance processes and effectively doubled the tax base.

We warmly welcome the government’s four central pillars of economic development, particularly its efforts to empower women, youth, and improve the livelihoods of the underprivileged and farmers. The success of initiatives like the Mudra Yojana loans and the significant rise in female enrollment in higher education and STEM courses mark commendable milestones in women’s empowerment.

Looking ahead, our commitment mirrors the government’s dedication to fostering inclusive and sustainable development. We pledge our unwavering support to drive growth, enhance productivity, and create opportunities for all in alignment with the government’s economic agenda. Furthermore, we commend the government’s emphasis on promoting clean energy and green mobility.”

Post-budget focus on introduction of new programmes in pharma to promote research and innovation

Dr Meena Chintamaneni, Pro Vice Chancellor, SVKM NMIMS, shared, “With regard to the pharmaceutical sector, the post-budget focus will be on the introduction of new programmes in pharma to promote research and innovation in pharmaceuticals through centres of excellence (CoE). Institutions backed by robust infrastructure—both physical and manpower—will have the capacity to start innovative programmes.

The pharmaceutical industry will be encouraged to invest in research and development in specific priority areas. Moreover, the industry-academia connection could be further strengthened.

Existing institutions, especially those pertaining to medical devices, will be in a position to introduce multidisciplinary courses supported by the government to develop skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing and research.

This gives impetus to good institutions to create self-sufficient skilled workers in the healthcare sector, improving the medical facilities and treatment in our country to support the vision highlighted by the finance minister.”

This year’s budget has paved way for India to achieve UHC

Tejinder Pal Singh, Founder Director & Senior Partner – Pharma, Healthcare & Life Sciences, TRANSEARCH India, commented, “We welcome the Budget 2024-25 as a balanced, consistent & pro-development budget with focus on capex, infrastructure development, public health & making India a knowledge economy. This year’s budget has paved the way for India to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). We appreciate the various initiatives announced by the Honourable Finance Minister to address longstanding gaps in the Indian healthcare ecosystem. Focus on public health programmes & health insurance coverage is commendable. Furthermore, the stability and continuity of healthcare policies will further encourage the momentum of a strategic shift, positioning India as a high-value player in the global pharmaceutical market.

We believe that the budget, along with continuity in conducive policies and regulatory reforms, will facilitate research and development, fostering a culture of innovation, and promoting advanced manufacturing in the pharmaceutical and MedTech sectors. This will strengthen our global reach and influence to address unmet health needs and reduce the high disease burden.

The incentives for investment and value creation bode well for our country’s aspiration to emerge as a globally competitive centre of scientific excellence and knowledge, with a keen focus on delivering quality healthcare. With increased investment, the budget is poised to enhance employment opportunities and spur a rising demand, especially for skilled leadership in the scientific sector.”

  • Published On Feb 2, 2024 at 03:12 PM IST

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