“The Indian pharmaceutical industry plays a prominent role in the global pharmaceutical industry,” read the Economic Survey 2023. The country’s pharmaceutical exports achieved significant growth of 24% in FY21, mainly driven by COVID-19-induced demand by over 150 countries for critical drugs and other supplies, said the survey tabled in Parliament on January 31. The Indian pharmaceutical market is projected to reach $130 billion by the end of 2023. Following the survey, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the annual Budget for FY 2023-24 on February 1, 2023. The Budget has outlaid new programs and goals, keeping in mind the growth trajectory of the Indian pharma industry. The Budget was welcomed by the pharma industry’s domestic players, including Health Biotech’s director Parmjit Arora, who praised the government for giving the much-needed boost to research and development in the industry.
The pharma sector of India has already been identified as the sunrise sector because of its role in COVID-19. The pandemic proved that pharma industry research must be at the forefront. Therefore, the Union Budget of 2023 announced a new initiative for encouraging pharmaceutical research and innovations through centers of excellence. “We shall also encourage industry to invest in research and development in specific priority areas. There will also be dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices to be supported in existing institutions to ensure availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing, and research,” said the finance minister in her speech.
Parmjit Arora, Health Biotech’s director, has applauded the government for keeping the pharma sector of India at the core of the Budget. “The Budget has provided momentum to research and innovation, which is a huge move for India to scale new heights. There is a growing need for the pharma industry to provide healthcare solutions to the newer challenges rising among the patients”.
Sanjiv Navangul, Managing Director & CEO, Bharat Serums and Vaccines said, “The first budget in Amrit Kaal that envisions a fruitful and prosperous India@100, has provided much-deserved attention to pharmaceutical research. We are delighted with the announcement of a new pharma research program that promotes research and innovation through centers of excellence.”
Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories giving his opinion on the Budget said, “Announcements on a new program to promote research and innovation through centers of excellence, collaboration with the ICMR laboratories, and encouragement to investment in R&D point to much-anticipated support to innovation in pharma. We welcome these announcements and look forward to studying the detailed proposals.
The Budget has also provided for facilities in some Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) laboratories for research by public and private medical college faculty and private sector R&D teams to encourage collaborative research and innovation. “Leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research and develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in agriculture, health, and sustainable cities. This will galvanize an effective AI ecosystem and nurture quality human resources in the field”, she said. In addition, the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission will also provide the necessary framework to sustain the nation’s integrated digital health infrastructure.
The worldwide market for pharmaceutical goods is predicted to surpass $1 trillion in 2023.India ranks 3rd in the production of pharma products globally by volume and 14th by value. Digitalization, innovation, and R&D in the pharma sector will help India maintain its position as a global pharma leader.
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