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Pharma Biggies See Opportunity In Covid-19

Hyderabad: Concerns over the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on the Indian pharma industry loomed large over BioAsia 2020, but top guns of the industry were of the opinion that it was a good opportunity for India to wrest back its supremacy in the active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) manufacturing space from China.

“In the 80’s and 90’s, India was one of the largest producers of major APIs in the world but we ceded this to China due to various reasons like economies of scale and subsidies that China gave its industry. This (API shortfall) is a wonderful opportunity to get back in the game,” said Dr Reddy’s Laboratories chairman Satish Reddy.

Biocon founder and chairperson and managing director Kiran Mazumdar Shaw too strongly batted for India to convert this crisis into an opportunity. “Right now the pharma industry is very well aware of what the impact could be if it (virus) does not sort itself out in the next four or five months. There is a lot of thinking going into how do we basically plan ahead. We need to be more proactive and use this crisis to bring back some of the manufacturing and intermediates to India.”

However, a cautious Dilip Shanghvi, founder and MD of Sun Pharma, pointed out that Indian pharma may not be able to cash in on the opportunity in the near term as it takes at least two to three years to build capacities for manufacturing APIs at scale.

Expressing concern over the spread of the outbreak of Corona virus and the fact that a chunk of global APIs and intermediates today are manufactured in China, Piramal Group chairman Ajay Piramal said industry is still awaiting clarity as every day there seems to be a new development.-Times Of India  

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