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Energizing Make in India through life sciences sector

“Atmanirbhar is the catalyst to take India forward and we need to create a roadmap through greater interaction of the government, industry and academia. India has emerged as one of the best investment destinations among the emerging economies and this is the most opportune time to invest in India, with the slew of measures undertaken by the government. Some of these include the introduction of GST, reduction of corporate income tax, introduction of IBC, and the recently announced, Product Incentive Linked (PLI) Scheme. The PLI scheme will see a cumulative investment of Rs 78,000 crores and generate employment for 250,000 people, within a period of 2-3 years. As a result of the business friendly policies announced, the pharmaceutical segment will become totally Atmanirbhar,” stated DV Sadananda Gowda, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry for Chemicals & Fertilizers at the inaugural session of the CII Life Sciences Conclave.

“COVID has been a wonderful example on how all the stakeholders within the industry have come together.  This camaraderie needs to carried forward for all the other priorities that need to be addressed. We are currently preparing a national bioeconomy roadmap for 2025 and there are several areas such as genomics, AI for healthcare, and precision medicine that need to be probed. Human resources and infrastructure capacity building is extremely critical. In the next 3-4 years, we will see, the number of startups increase from 3500 to 10,000, and incubators from the current 50 to 100. We will also see 10 manufacturing hubs established across the country,” stated Dr Renu Swarup, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology.

“Regulation needs to responsive, responsible, and robust. Our regulation needs to be sensitive to the fact that we develop what is internationally acceptable. As we move forward, industry-academia linkages are imperative and this requires a robust regulatory mechanism. It needs to be transparent, accountable, responsive, and sensitive to the needs of the time”, said Dr VG Somani, DCGI, CDSCO.

“The backbone required for efficient pandemic-disaster management rests on every nation’s healthcare infrastructure, research & development facilities and the pharmaceutical industry. We must encourage academia and develop Centres of Excellence across the nation to create further collaborations,” said GV Prasad, Chairman, CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Co Chairman & Managing Director, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Limited. 

Dr Rajesh Jain, Chairman, CII National Biotechnology Committee & Managing Director Panacea Biotec expressed India’s prominent position as the pharmacy of the world. India is home to the world’s leading vaccine and pharmaceutical companies. Every 2 out of 3 children in the developing world are immunized with vaccines manufactured in India. We must build on our skill base to further enhance our competitiveness. We need our SMEs to scale up and go global. These scale-up success stories will form the backbone for building strong enterprises which are important, he added.

Vivek Kamath, Vice Chairman, CII National Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Managing Director & GM EPD – Abbott Specialty Care, Abbott Healthcare Private Limited addressed the need for investment in the development of skill, infrastructure and innovation. This requires the public and private sectors to come together and create an ecosystem founded on distinctive abilities, he added.

“Our focus should be on making India digital, this pivotal transformation will be a key asset for the entire healthcare system in diagnostics and procurement, improving effectiveness and transparency of the healthcare system. For India to be competitive and self-reliant, sustained intervention from the regulatory and policy perspective is required. Policy needs to be geared towards innovation, ease of doing business and developing a strong infrastructure,” expressed Samina Hamied, Executive Vice Chairperson, Cipla Ltd.

CII is committed to the vision of putting India back on the map, with the Indian Life Sciences segment leading the way.

The global impact of COVID-19 has overwhelmed large sections of the world’s healthcare infrastructure, and the ongoing threat it presents has been the most demanding on our public-health systems. India is seen as the “pharmacy of the world” while being among the top 12 biotech destinations in the world. This status has further been etched globally as the nation has been seen as a helping hand for various countries across the world in our fight against COVID.

The Indian life sciences industry is paving the way for future growth in terms of meeting the domestic needs, as well as establishing the nation as a leader in the global life sciences landscape. There are still several challenges that need to be addressed and it is of fundamental importance to re-strategize the restoration of India’s position in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology landscape.

Against this backdrop, CII had organized the second edition of Life Sciences Conclave that provides the necessary platform for stakeholders across the world to converge and embed their ideas to help usher in a new era of competitiveness and lead global markets. – MB Bureau