Innovation supported by greater access to funding coupled with regulatory reforms will be key for the pharma companies to tap global and domestic potential and to deliver a novel drug to the world in the decade ahead, according to captains of the pharma industry. 

The most ‘exciting’  for the industry in the decade ahead is the possibility of some novel drugs successfully coming out with approval from the regulators such as the US FDA, Glenn Saldanha, Chairman and MD, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said in a CEO Conclave Panel Discussion on Future growth driver: What’s next for India? at the 20th edition of BioAsia 2023. which began here on Friday. 

According to Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories while “it is quite possible for the Indian pharma industry to successfully bring out a novel drug by 2030,’‘ there is a also a need to create an ecosystem that can bridge the existing gaps and give confidence to the pharma companies and other stakeholders.

Exploring the options of creating a joint funding system by the government and industry and a regulatory revamp can drive innovation further and help the Indian pharma industry to shift focus from volume to value driven path, he said. 

For Hari S Bhartia, Founder and Co-Chairman, Jubilant Bhartia Group, addressing capital issues for the industry for early research and its translation into clinical development is vital.

“The government grants should be increased further’‘ he said, adding that partnering with big pharma companies was another way to deal with capital issues. 

Mahima Datla, Managing Director, Biological E, said a big question in this regard was how to increase the head room for pharma companies to increase the R&D expenditure beyond 5-6 per cent. The government could look into the reimbursement of expenses, too. “The vaccine industry is fortunate as there is a robust procurement and distribution system. But in the broader industry context push and pull funding for academic and industry is vial,’‘ she said. 

The regulatory reforms were impotant as there were so many agencies involved in the approval process, she added.

According to Nandini Piramal, Chairperson, Piramal Pharma and Non-Executive Director, Piramal Enterprises the overall spending for healthcare should go up. 

New areas such as biosimilars and digitisation of healthcare and pharma research were the `exicitng areas’ for the industry going forward apart from ensuring growth in the domestic market according to panelists. 

K T Rama Rao, Telangana Minister for Industries who presided over the discussion said the Government was aimed at “making Telangana to lead the country from the front’‘ in innovation and tapping the huge potential going forward. 

The total size of the pharma and life science ecosystem in Telangana is expected to touch $250 billion by 2030 aided by upcoming projects like Hyderabad Pharma city, he added.

The current size of the ecosystem is estimated at $80 billion.