Mr Jayant Singh, associate director, pharma and medical technologies, Frost and Sullivan
Q: What should be the top priorities for the next government?
The issues concerning foreign direct investment (FDI) in pharma should be settled once for all. Whether it has to be routed through the greenfield or brownfield, decision should be taken clearly. As an example when Mylan was looking for acquisition in India, it was the prime minister of India who had to intervene. The ambiguity should not be there as it hurts the industry. There should be clarity on do's and don'ts. But it is astonishing to see that why can't we collaborate and allow others to chip in for better healthcare. While checks for the defence sector can be understood but surely not this one and that too when we have so many diseases to tackle. There is a turf war going on between health ministry versus commerce/finance ministries on the issue. Rather than micro-managing, the policy perspective intervention should be limited. Be it FDI in pharma, clinical trials, GM crops, different voices are there. The priorities should be the creation of effective programmes, infrastructure creation and designing of proper mechanism for trials by the industry.
Q: How do you look at the regulatory scenario? Who is to be blamed?
With ever changing policy rules, the companies are left in limbo. First we had unhindered trials in case of GM crops but we allowed the judiciary to overrule executive and stop the trials. Even the top government bodies have been found to be involved in wrong doings. MNCs can't be blamed as only ones responsible. Though there should be strong action against the wrongdoings but blame cannot be one sided.
Q: What is your take on the latest amendments made to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act?