Industry expects Modi-fied decisions

Change in regime at the center was the most talked about subject in the last one year. Finally, with the National Democratic Alliance led government at the helm, BioSpectrum takes a look at the ministries that have direct bearing on the bioscience industry

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High Expectations! The prime minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi taking charge of his office on May 27, 2014.

Often the ministers have been looked at as either promoters of a business friendly environment or the ones who create policy paralysis. For that matter, the Narendra Modi led government from the day one of its office, has exhibited tremendous seriousness and a message that it means business. The bioscience industry that has been dealing with major policy issues from a long time is no doubt excited to see a stable government with perceived business friendly attitude. The mood was visible with this immediate tweet from Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, CMD, Biocon, "We are with you in your mission of unleashing the energy of India. You have the vision and the conviction to make great things happen." In her response, Ms Anu Acharya, founder and CEO of Ocimum Bio Solutions and Map My Genome told BioSpectrum, "Hope that they (Modi government) streamline the process and demand that timelines be met." Most of the industry associations have been excited about the new government and keenly watching as its working style unfolds.

Starting with the union health ministry, Dr Harsh Vardhan, its new head, is an expert in the area as he comes from a medical background. He is credited with initiating the Pulse Polio program for the first time in Delhi when he was the health minister. Well that sounds like good news for the vaccine industry as the minister can push the projects that need immediate attention. A major pioneering initiative of Dr Vardhan was his act of implementing WHO's Essential Drug Program, which revolutionized governments' attitude on public health care. Under the concept, maximum budgetary outlay was apportioned to those drugs that are most needed by people. It was henceforth known as the "Delhi Model" and taken up by several foreign countries and at least a dozen state governments in India. The Delhi Society for Promotion of Rational use of Drugs headed by Dr Vardhan had also launched the Healthy City Project, the Hepatitis B Immunization Program and a Delhi Research Centre for Modernized Promotion of Ayurveda. The BJP, in its manifesto has exclusively pointed to Ayurgenomics.

Mr Ananth Kumar who is the chemicals and fertilisers minister will be equally responsible for helping frame drug policies. The department of pharmaceuticals is a part of this ministry. Looking at his working style, the pharma industry may expect a quick transition from the period of non-decisiveness.

Science too has a doctor

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