Make in India: With several biologics off the rack of patent shelves in the next five years, the combined sales potential of more than US$ 60 billion represents a massive opportunity for India to contribute through vaccines and biosimilars.
Industry leaders believe that the negativity created by prevailing regulatory environment and unending controversies, have led to under performance of the biotech sector. However the renewed focus on producing quality Indian products has brought to fore a hidden opportunity to show its importance in the new context.
To begin with, it is the time multinational companies working in India should stop maligning image of the country, mentioned Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman and managing director, Biocon during her talk at the BIRAC's Foundation day at Delhi. "They should stop India bashing as it won't help in any way" she said. Dr Shaw requested the prime minister's office to have more thrust on science and technology. She added further, "Manufacturing requires public private partnership to develop highest quality product at low cost. That can't be done unless there are interventions at highest level."
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With several biologics off the rack of patent shelves in the next five years, the combined sales potential of more than US$ 60 billion represents a massive opportunity for India to contribute through vaccines and biosimilars.
To lap this up, there is a need to build a strong image globally, believes Prof Anurag S Rathore, Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. "One or two incidents on quality are repeated globally, leading to negative perceptions," he says, "Need to do more to change this as a country. Action should be taken against the bad products. There are three aspects: technical, policy and brand management that require attention."
Talking in particular about vaccine industry's role, Dr Suresh Jadhav, executive director, Serum Institute of India, drew a comparative scenario between developed countries and India. "Two third children across world getting Indian manufactured vaccines. While in US, there are Pfizer and Merck, the Europe has few manufacturers that include GSK and Bethovan are few others. Therefore, the role of 52 Indian vaccines manufacturers whose 23 products have been so far certified by WHO, obviously becomes stronger. Also, at times, GAVI used to procure pentavalent vaccine at $4 but now with manufacturers from developing countries in picture, the prices have come down to $1.5." Dr Jadhav wants the government to understand the issues not just politically but financially as well. He adds,