Pharma Industry Should Prioritise R&D, Focus On Innovative Products: Union Health Minister


The pharmaceutical industry in India needs to work on the research and development of innovative products to compete at the global level, Union Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said on Tuesday. The health minister called for the domestic industry to work on progressing in the value chain and achieve global leadership in the sector. 

While formally unveiling the National Policy on Research & Development and Innovation in the Pharma-Med Tech sector in New Delhi, the minister called on the medical technology companies to produce critical equipment domestically for the global markets, reported PTI. He further said that compared to their international peers, domestic pharmaceutical companies invest less on research and development. “International MNCs spend 20-25 per cent of their profits in research and innovation while for Indian companies the average is around 10 per cent…Till the time we do not come out with research-led innovative products, we cannot lead the segment globally,” he added. 

Mandaviya noted that the government intends to make the pharmaceutical industry self-reliant by 2047. He asked the industry to prioritise developing quality products instead of just quantity. The minister stated that the government has been collaborating with the industry and academia to help transform the domestic pharmaceutical industry so that it can build a leadership position in the global market.

Notably, the Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) notified the research and development policy earlier in August this year. The policy intends to give a boost to R&D in pharmaceuticals, including traditional medicines, phytopharmaceuticals, and medical devices. The policy further acknowledges that more importance needs to be assigned to R&D via indigenously developed products and technologies throughout the value chain to ensure global competitiveness. 

Further, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers also officially introduced the Scheme for Promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma MedTech Sector (PRIP), which aims to change the domestic pharma and medical technology sector to an innovation-based growth model by boosting the research infrastructure in the country.

Notably, the Indian pharmaceutical industry is the third largest in the world on the basis of volume and it’s current market size is approximately $50 billion. The industry has the potential to reach $120-130 billion in the next decade, the report noted. 

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