US-China trade war opens up big opportunity for India pharma sector, says Dr Reddy’s GV Prasad

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on November 18, 2019

GV Prasad, Chairman of CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Co-Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories   -  Bloomberg

Potential for backward integration, new plants

The trade war between the US and China and the changed focus of the latter on its pharma sector, has opened up a big opportunity for the country’s pharmaceutical sector.

GV Prasad, Chairman of CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Co-Chairman of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, said that one out of every third pill consumed in the US and Europe is made in an Indian pharma company and the potential to scale up and address new areas of pharma sector in quite huge.

Interacting on the sidelines of a CII hosted Pharma Conclave, Prasad said, “Hyderabad has been a key pharma player contributing to global supplies. While it started with active pharma ingredients with IDPL playing a major role in developing the pharma ecosystem, later APIs and generics from Hyderabad and Vizag have grown significantly.”

Apart from catering to the vibrant domestic market and global supplies, the country’s pharma sector has the potential to scale up in the areas of biologics and vaccines.

Referring to how the trade war could have a positive aspect on the country’s pharma sector, Prasad said, “several markets are not procuring from China and China has also decided to stepped up it’s game by addressing new segments within the pharma sector. And a number of Indian pharma companies are dependent on supplies from China.”

“So now we have an opportunity to expand and initiate work on backward integration projects apart from setting up new facilities. This will enable us to add scale. However, there is need to meet stringent quality controls and the growing number of USFDA queries is an indication that pharma companies need to scale up, go digital and focus on Industry 4.0,” he said.

On a number of pharma companies located in the urban areas, he said they need to shift to other locations. This requires deployment of significant new capital. Some of the companies are using old technology and they need to upgrade to stay competitive in the global marketplace.

He said that Government has been focussing on healthcare and affordability is a significant departure from the past. The Government is now seeking to own the healthcare of the citizen. “The cost of healthcare is amongst the lowest when we compare with other parts of the world. However, the real challenge is the affordability due to low income level of a major chunk of the population.”

“As a country, we need to also look at the challenge of addressing lifestyle diseases. Given the progress we have made, those born around these years have the potential to live up to 100 years,” he said.

Published on November 18, 2019

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