Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda: Update : Pharma Industry as per the latest Economical survey

Update : Pharma Industry as per the latest Economical survey

The pharma industry in the country has grown from mere Rs 1500 crore turnover in 1980 to over Rs 78,000 crore in 2008, with about 10 per cent share in the volume of global production, according to the latest Economic Survey which called for decontrolling of prices.

High growth has been achieved through the creation of required infrastructure, capacity building in complex manufacturing technologies of active ingredients (APIs) and formulations, entering into drug discovery through original and contract research and manufacturing (CRAM) and clinical trials and product specific strategies of acquisition and mergers. The domestic sector had a production turnover of Rs 47,241 crore from about 10,000 small-scale and 300 large and medium manufacturing units in 2008, the survey said.

The survey, presented by finance minister on Thursday in the Parliament, also said price control should be limited to essential drugs in which there are less than five producers. All others should be decontrolled.

Pharmaceutical exports have grown from Rs 6,256 crore in 1998-99 to Rs 30,759 crore in 2008. Exports of pharmaceuticals have been consistently outstripping the value of corresponding imports in the period 1996-97 up to 2007-08. Exports registered a growth rate of 25 per cent in 2007-08 over 2006- 07. The sector attracted FDI amounting to US$1,401.60 million during 2000-01 to September 2008, of which, US$125.30 million occurred during April- September 2008, according to the survey.

Investments in pharmaceutical sector are now expanding into areas of innovative R&D focused outsourcing opportunities like clinical trials, data management services, pharmaceutical informatics, lead discovery and optimization, pharmaco-kinetics and pharmaco-dynamics and pre-clinical drug discovery in combinatorial chemistry, chiral chemistry, new drug delivery systems, bioinformatics and phyto-medicines. "The Indian pharma industry is taking leaping strides in innovative drug discovery with clinical trials underway in 34 molecules. Consequently, the Indian drug discovery market has grown from US$ 470 million in 2005 to US$ 800 million in 2007," it said.

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