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Major Turnarounds in the Pharma Sector Until Now

Written by : Nikita Saha

July 6, 2024

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The first half of 2024 has seen major developments all across the healthcare sector and pharmaceutical has been no exception.

The year began with the major converse of electoral bonds which was termed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of India. This scheme witnessed thirty-five pharmaceutical companies contributing nearly INR 1,000 Cr to political parties.

In addition to this landmark ruling, the industry has experienced substantial domestic and global collaborations aimed at advancing drug development, alongside major acquisitions reshaping the sector as well.

Several government initiatives have also played a pivotal role in these advancements. The industry notably benefited from the Government’s Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme. Investments surged to INR 28,328 Cr by April 2024, up from INR 18,618.09 Cr in March 2023, highlighting the sector's robust growth and the positive impact of governmental support.

Major Developments Until June 2024

Regulatory Shake-up

In 2024, the government made a significant move by rolling out the Uniform Code for Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices (UCPMP), targeting unethical practices in the pharmaceutical industry. This regulation aims to curtail the influence of gifts, freebies, and incentives offered to healthcare professionals, which compromise patient care.

Meanwhile, the debate over online medicine sales continues. The Delhi High Court recently granted an eight-week extension to formulate a policy governing the online sale of medications. While e-pharmacies argue that they operate like food delivery services, which don't require a business license, petitioners raise concerns about the potential for drug misuse and illegal sales, stressing the need for stringent regulations.

Adding to the regulatory discourse, the Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) has called on the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) to establish a national pharmacist registration process.

This initiative aims to introduce a Unique Identification Number or National Pharmacist Registration Number, streamlining admission procedures for pharmacy students across different states, which according to the members will enhance the integrity and efficiency of the pharmaceutical sector.

Seasoned Leaders at the Helm

The month of June witnessed several notable CEO appointments, highlighting experienced leaders taking charge in key pharmaceutical firms.

Abdelaziz Toumi assumed leadership at Lupin's newly established subsidiary, Lupin Manufacturing Solutions (LMS), bringing his veteran expertise to drive strategic initiatives.

Similarly, Rajnish Rohatgi stepped into a leadership role at Orchid Pharma, leveraging his extensive industry knowledge to steer the company forward.

Additionally, Srinivas Sadu took on dual roles as CEO and Executive Chairman at Gland Pharma, reinforcing the company's commitment to leadership continuity and innovation.

Pharma Ventures Beyond Traditional Spheres

Pharmaceutical companies are actively branching out into new healthcare sectors. Mankind Pharma has entered the bidding for Healthium Medtech to penetrate the lucrative surgical supplies market and is also eyeing Bharat Serums & Vaccines (BSV) for acquisition.

Roche India, meanwhile, has made a notable entry into the ophthalmology field with the launch of Vabysmo (faricimab), a monoclonal antibody.

These moves reveal a dynamic 2024 strategy, with pharma giants not just focusing on traditional areas but ambitiously targeting broader healthcare domains for growth and diversification.

Pharmaceutical IPO Highlights

Emcure, based in Pune, received SEBI approval for its upcoming Initial Public Offering (IPO), scheduled for launch in July this year after filing preliminary papers in December 2023.

Meanwhile, IKS Health, backed by Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s Rare Enterprises, plans an INR 2,500 Cr IPO through an equity issuance of 15%, primarily through an offer for sale (OFS) by early investors and shareholders. The digital health platform engaged ICICI Securities, Nomura, Jefferies, JPMorgan, and JM Financial to manage the offering.

Wrapping Up

The first half of 2024 has been a whirlwind of activity for the pharmaceutical sector. From the rollout of the UCPMP to the ambitious IPOs, the industry is evolving rapidly. Despite challenges, the sector remains resilient, eyeing opportunities beyond traditional domains and continuing to expand its influence within the broader healthcare landscape.

As we move into the latter half of the year, the momentum shows no signs of slowing down, promising more groundbreaking developments on the horizon.


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