“It is quite heartening to note that the Pharma sector is out-performing most other sectors in achieving consistently high growth. India is now among the top five pharmaceutical emerging markets of the world. India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally with the Indian generics accounting for 20 % of global exports in terms of volume. We have the desire and capability to absorb new technologies in manufacturing. ‘Make in India’ is one of the key programmes launched by the government to boost the economy and the aim is to transform India into a global manufacturing hub. The target is to increase the GDP contribution of manufacturing to 25 % by 2025. Pharmaceuticals is one of the fastest growing contributors to “Make in India” campaign since its inception,” said Naidu.
“India has successfully maintained its legacy of being a pioneer in the field of pharmacology and today India enjoys the exalted position of being the ‘Pharmacy to the world’. The Pharma industry has posted a robust, double-digit growth over the last few years. The industry was worth US $36.7 Billion in 2017 and is projected to grow to US $55 Billion by 2020, said Naidu.
Presently over 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs used globally to combat AIDS are supplied by Indian pharmaceutical firms. Due to the ability of the Indian pharma companies to produce drugs at economical rates, the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment has gone down to $400 per year from $12,000 – a spectacular contribution to global healthcare. India also has a large pool of talented scientists and engineers who have the potential to lead the industry ahead to greater heights.
Generic drugs export has been growing at a very impressive rate of around 24% per year for the last four years. In 2012-13, India’s pharmaceutical exports stood at $14.7 billion. More than half of it went to western markets which have tight regulations and strong accountability mechanisms. This is an eloquent testimony to the competence of the Indian pharma sector in terms of quality and pricing,” he added.
The Vice President said that apart from being the world leader in generic medicines, India should promote Indian systems of Medicine. He asked young researchers to work towards standardising and benchmarking Indian systems of medicine and establish the efficiency, validity and efficacy of these traditional medicines, using globally established experimental protocols.
The Vice President asked Pharma companies to go above and beyond their CSR mandates to provide life saving and other essential drugs to those who cannot afford them. He said that it was essential for a country like India to provide healthcare and medicines at affordable prices. Saying that pharmaceuticals was a priority area for Government, Naidu stressed the need to further harness the potential of the sector by use of technology, innovation and research.
Healthcare and its allied industries being the fifth-largest employer among all sectors, the Vice President asked the industry to invest in skilling. Given the significance of highly educated and specialised scientists in the sector, skill development is crucial, he said. He asked for a constant coordination between government and Industry to remove disconnect between demand and supply of skilled manpower in pharmacy sector.
Naidu said that National Skill Development Corporation which has identified more than 60 job roles for the pharmacy graduates and post graduates for consideration under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojna would aid the building of vocational and technical training framework, hasten skill up-gradation and encourage innovative thinking.
Earlier, Naidu interacted with CEOs of all major Pharmaceutical companies ahead of the inaugural event of the conference which was attended by more than 5000 participants from across India. The Minister for Excise and Liquor Prohibition, Uttar Pradesh, Jai Parata Singh and several dignitaries from fields of medicine, pharmaceuticals and other were present on the occasion.