Budget 2020: Pharma industry must innovate

Union Budget 2020: Pharma industry must innovate, improve quality

By Sudarshan Jain

India is the pharmacy of the world and accounts for approximately 20 per cent of the market share globally in terms of volume. We have a competitive advantage in the global Pharmaceutical Industry. It is important that the industry moves up the value chain by focusing on innovation and quality. For creating an enabling research eco system, the starting point would be to increase expenditure on healthcare from the current about 1.2 per cent to 1.5 per cent of GDP this year and about 5 per cent by 2030, in line with the developed European and North American economies.

The pharma industry must move from branded generic drugs to discovering and developing new drugs; for that creating an enabling research system is a must. The forthcoming budget provides the government with an opportunity in this respect by reinstating weighted tax deduction of 200 per cent on R&D. The budget should also provide for incentives to set up 4-6 bulk API and innovation clusters to reduce dependence on API imports and to align with the idea of Make in India to Discover in India. The industry aspires to become world’s largest supplier of quality medicines; for this to happen, the growth would have to come from increasing exports to large and traditionally underpenetrated markets such as Japan, China, Africa, Indonesia and Latin America.

(Sudarshan Jain, Secretary General, Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance)