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National Policy on R&D, Innovation to Boost Pharma-Medtech Sector: Dr S Narasimha Murthy

Written by : Jayati Dubey

September 22, 2023

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The new national policy paves the way for a notable increase in originality, entrepreneurship, and new inventive treatment methods in the pharmaceutical and medtech sectors.

The National Policy on R & D, Innovation in the Pharma-Medtech sector is going to create opportunities galore for entrepreneurship and fresh treatment techniques to meet the medical necessities, said Dr. S Narasimha Murthy, the founder-director of the Institute for Drug Delivery and Biomedical Research (IDBR).

Dr. Murthy said, "This policy will create substantial opportunities for entrepreneurship and novel treatment approaches to address unmet medical needs."

According to Dr Murthy, there is a need for developing a skilled workforce to meet the demands of pharmaceutical research. He further added that with the new national policy in place, the pharmaceutical and medtech sector is poised for a surge in originality, entrepreneurship, and the exploration of novel treatment pathways.

Currently, IDBR is actively engaged in exploring several areas within drug delivery and biomedical research. These include microneedle technology for delivering drugs to treat macular degeneration, topical delivery technologies for psoriasis treatment, the use of metallic nanoparticles for theranostic applications, the development of future contraceptives, and novel treatment methods for conditions such as anaemia, infections, and metabolic disorders.

The Policy is a comprehensive strategy with a three-fold focus. Firstly, it aims to bolster the regulatory framework within the sector. Secondly, it endeavours to incentivise investment in innovation. Lastly, it seeks to cultivate an ecosystem conducive to innovation and research.

This translates into accelerating drug discovery and development, facilitating collaboration between industry and academia and streamlining existing policies to optimise research resources.

In a recent development, the Indian Union Cabinet approved the National Policy on Research and Development and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector. This development is accompanied by the approval of the Scheme for Promotion of Research and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector (PRIP), with an allocation of INR 5,000 Cr for the upcoming five-year period from FY24 to FY28.

The PRIP scheme is poised to stimulate collaboration among pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and startups, extending its support to established pharmaceutical giants and burgeoning start-ups alike.

Currently, research and development activities in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors within public institutions are fragmented across various research departments and institutions. The policy's overarching goal is to promote coordination among industry and academia, enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.

As India's pharmaceutical industry aims to expand its global footprint, these initiatives are set to pave the way for transformative growth and innovation in the sector.


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