Friday, 9 September 2011

Indian pharma industry is poised to grow to 20 billion US dollars by 2015

By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Sept 4: President Pratibha Patil on Sunday called upon the
pharma industry to respond to the emerging patterns of diseases, and to
growing concerns about disease-causing agents becoming resistant to
existing drugs.

Pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists should increase their focus on
research and development, including in the newer frontiers of medicine like
biotechnology. "With its proven IT sector, demonstrated leadership in bio-
technology, a vast pool of trained personnel and cost advantages, India can
emerge as a significant player in global pharmaceutical research," she added.

The President was addressing over 2000 pharmacists and pharma scientists
from across 80 nations after formally inaugurating the World Congress of
Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences 2011 and the 71st Congress of the
International Pharmaceutical Federation, here. This is the first time that
World Congress of Pharmacy is being held in India in the last 100 years.

Stating that medical science has made tremendous progress, newer machines,
better technologies and new drugs are now available, the President said "but
the other side of the story, and a matter of concern", is that a very
large part
of the world population, mostly in developing countries has inadequate or no
access to healthcare or essential medicines at affordable cost.
Resultantly, the
mortality rate and disease incidence is high.

In India the development of health services and infrastructure is one of the
priority areas. Hospital and medical facilities in India are an attractive
destination for medical tourism. "Our mission however, is to extend the
coverage of healthcare, particularly amongst our urban poor and to rural
areas. This offers many opportunities for Public-Private Partnerships," she
added.

Pratibha Patil said most illnesses, especially infectious diseases, are either
preventable or treatable with medicines. But it is estimated, that
more than 50
per cent of all medicines worldwide are prescribed, dispensed, or sold
inappropriately. About 50 per cent of patients fail to take them
correctly. This
results in health complications.

"The Indian pharmaceutical industry has a wide range of capabilities, and is
already contributing a substantial share to global production. By 2015, it is
expected to become a US $ 20 billion industry, from its present turnover of
US $ 12 billion. It is already the third largest in the world, by
volume. Indian
generic drugs have helped in bringing down the cost of treatment of various
diseases world-wide, which includes HIV/AIDS," the President observed.

India already has the largest number of US FDA approved plants outside of
the USA., and is expected to be among the world's top five innovative hubs
with contributions of around 50 per cent to drugs discovered worldwide.

She said it's the responsibility of every healthcare provider and healthcare
organisations to ensure that the quality and safety of medicines are not
compromised. There are instances of spurious drugs, which are so harmful to
health, being produced. This is a crime and an unethical practice.

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