Hailed as the ‘pharmacy of the world’, India’s booming pharmaceutical industry is a major source of breakthrough innovations, especially when it comes to providing life-saving medicines at affordable prices to countries that need them. need it most. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the world continued to depend on Indian vaccine and pharmaceutical manufacturers for drug supplies.
According to data, India exported 5.84 crore doses of COVID vaccines to 70 countries in March 2021. With a skilled workforce at low cost and a well-established manufacturing base, India is ready to play. an even greater role in global drug safety and continues to be one of the most favored pharmaceutical markets in the world.
What led to the emergence of India as the “pharmacy of the world”?
With many producers of generic drugs in India, there has been a price reduction of over 99% for drugs in various therapeutic areas such as TB, Malaria, HIV / AIDS, Hepatitis C and Medicines against noncommunicable diseases which are critical aspects of public health. programs.
In addition, India plays a vital role in providing affordable anti-HIV drugs to the world. In 1999, the WHO announced that HIV / AIDS was the number one killer in Africa. As the big pharmaceutical companies started charging $ 10,000 per year per patient for antiretrovirals, for millions of people it became economically unsustainable to seek treatment. The Indian pharmaceutical industry came to the rescue by enabling the manufacture and supply of HIV antiretrovirals with a price cut of 99.99%. India is currently the world’s leading source of affordable anti-HIV drugs, as it is also one of the few with the capacity to rapidly manufacture new anti-HIV drugs in generic form.
Besides drugs, India is one of the largest suppliers of low cost vaccines to countries around the world. When large multinational pharmaceutical companies had a complete monopoly on the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine, India was the first to market the vaccine at an affordable price to the public.
India is the country with the highest number of US Food and Drug Administration compliant pharmaceutical factories, which is playing a key role in increasing its pharmaceutical export efforts. It is estimated that around 65 percent of the world’s children receive at least one vaccine made by India. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, India is among the largest exporters of vaccines with world-class research and development facilities and a skilled workforce.
Main growth drivers for the future
The road to follow
In recent years, India has emerged as a global “medical superpower” by strengthening its research and development ecosystem and fueling pharmaceutical exports. India’s pharmaceutical industry has firmly embarked on a path of growth and innovation, even when the whole world was caught in the clutches of the pandemic. All that can be said with absolute confidence is that further investment will enable India’s pharmaceutical sector to rise to the top layers of the world.
– The author, Nikkhil K Masurkar, is the executive director of ENTOD Pharmaceuticals. The opinions expressed in this article are his own.
(Edited by : Dipti Sharma)