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R&D Policy in Pharma & Med-Tech to Roll Out Tomorrow

Written by : Nikita Saha

September 25, 2023

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With this initiative, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers expects to generate a pool of white-collar jobs, setting India apart from other developing economies. Additionally, it is anticipated to boost pharmaceutical exports by an additional $12 billion annually.

The Centre has officially confirmed the release of the National Policy on Research and Development in Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Technology, tomorrow I. e. September 26.

In July this year, the Cabinet approved the National Policy on Research & Development and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector. It also then approved the Scheme for Promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma-MedTech (PRIP) with a total outlay of INR 5,000 Cr for the upcoming five-year period from FY24 to FY28.

Reportedly, the Union Health and Chemicals & Fertilizers' Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will inaugurate the event. VK Paul, member of NITI Aayog, Bhagwanth Khuba, MoS for chemicals-fertilisers, and new and renewable energy will also grace the occasion.

The R&D policy is centered around streamlining regulatory processes to facilitate rapid drug discovery, development and innovation in medical devices. Further, it explores mechanisms to incentivise private sector investment in research and evaluates various funding mechanisms including budgetary support, venture capital, CSR funding, and fiscal incentives to promote novel developments. 

The PRIP scheme encompasses six major areas, including new chemical entities, complex generics, precision medicines, AI-based medical devices, orphan drugs and antimicrobial resistance.

With this initiative, the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, the parent ministry of the Department of Pharmaceuticals, expects to generate a pool of white-collar jobs, setting India apart from other developing economies. Additionally, it is anticipated to boost pharmaceutical exports by an additional $12 billion annually.

Addressing the press, Union Minister Mandaviya, said, 'œIn several developed countries, big pharma companies invest more than or around 25% of their revenues on research and development. However, in India, pharma companies invest only around up to 8%'¦ The reason is our public health approach due to which they are unable to fix high margins on their products, hence low revenue generation.'

'œThis shows that these companies need financial support and this policy is the answer to all their concerns and limitations,' he added.

Dr S Narasimha Murthy, founder-director of the Institute for Drug Delivery and Biomedical Research (IDBR), anticipates a surge in originality and entrepreneurship in pharmaceuticals with the new national policy.

Talking about government schemes in this segment, the NHA extended Digital Health Incentives Scheme under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) till 31st December 2023.  

This initiative is designed to offer hospitals, diagnostic labs, and providers of digital health solutions to promote transformative digitisation within the ABDM context. 

To date, over 1205 health facilities have been registered under this scheme, comprising 567 public and 638 private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic labs. Nearly 120 healthcare facilities and 7 health tech companies have collectively received incentives totalling INR 4.84 Cr, till June 2023.

Another such scheme is the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program, which aims to encourage the pharmaceutical industry to enhance its manufacturing capabilities and attract investments. Recently, Nitika Pharmaceuticals became the first excipient manufacturing company to secure approval for the scheme from the Government of India.


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