India’s Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Wednesday lauded the efforts of life sciences organisations during the Covid-19 pandemic in a Round Table on R&D and Innovation Opportunities in Life Sciences Sector at Davos.
He also underlined India’s role in driving better health outcomes across the world, being a large and reliable supplier of aiordable and high-quality drugs.
While reiterating India’s strong and growing life sciences ecosystem and its proud moniker of “the pharmacy of the world”, he stated that India provided about 60 per cent of global vaccine supplies and 20-22 per cent of generic exports and further supported the global battle against the Covid-19 pandemic by providing essential drugs to about 185 countries.
Giving an elaborate account of developed ecosystem of pharma sector including bio-pharmaceuticals and biosimilars and developing ecosystem for sunrise medical devices sector and growing Indian traditional medicines sector, he expressed confidence that the intervention of the government through production-linked incentive schemes will give the desired boost in the domestic manufacturing to make the country a global champion of reliable supplier of quality medicines and medical devices.
Mandaviya shared three major focus areas of government that will make the country a global destination for R&D in pharma and medtech sector in 2047 – strengthening the regulatory framework that facilitates innovation and research in product development and expanding the traditional regulatory objectives of safety and quality; incentivising investments (both government and private) in innovation through a mix of fiscal and non-fiscal measures, thereby matching risks with remunerative financing options; and creating a facilitatory ecosystem designed to support innovation and cross-sectoral research as a strong institutional foundation for sustainable growth in the sector such as robust industry-academia linkages, collaborating across institutions and sectors and building innovation infrastructure.
He remarked that the commitment to Universal Healthcare and the attention to schemes such as Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) and Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP) etc., will create the required demand to indigenously develop cutting-edge products and technologies. He cited the view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that focus on innovation and research in pharma and medtech sector is very critical for Atma Nirbhar Bharat.
He requested the Indian pharma-medtech firms to move out of their comfort zone and adopt innovation as a driving feature of their development strategies. He stated that the industry, academic institutions, and the government should work in tandem to create an ecosystem for innovation in both sectors in order for India to become a leader in drug discovery and innovative medical devices.
Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla lauded the Indian government’s extensive response in delivering reforms in the Indian healthcare ecosystem. “We must highlight and market the different initiatives and reforms, including different investment promotion schemes such as production-linked incentives on forums such as World Economic Forum at Davos,” he said.