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Budget 2022: Industry reacts

Following the announcement of the Union Budget 2022-23 by Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister, let's have a look at what the pharma stakeholders have to say

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The government could explore a 200 per cent weighted deduction and a separate allocation for R&D in biopharmaceuticals : S Sridhar, President, OPPI, and MD, Pfizer

The allocation for the health sector highlights commitment towards universal access to healthcare through the roll out of the National Digital Health Mission and the National Tele-Mental Health programme. While it is truly a growth-intensive Amrit kaal budget, focussed on increased investments and allocations at a foundational stage, additional thrust on R&D and investment would help sustain sectoral growth.

While the government’s thrust on PLI augurs well for the sector and the country at large, the dependence on imports for APIs and bulk drugs continues to be a challenge. There is a need to consider the introduction of an ‘RLI Scheme’ – Research-Linked Incentive scheme, which will accelerate an aatmanirbhar ecosystem for end-to-end development of pharmaceuticals – from bulk drugs to finished formulations.

The government could also explore a 200 per cent weighted deduction and a separate allocation for R&D in biopharmaceuticals for companies making investments to undertake research for new drugs, chemical entities and/or new biological entities to combat outbreaks. This would further augment foreign investments in R&D. Such measures could be explored in future allocations or as a series of mini-budgets which will enable strategic growth within a conducive regulatory ecosystem, which will be key to a healthier future for all.

Encouraging collaboration among academia, industry and public institutions is a strong measure to accelerate innovation in drug development : Ajay Tandon, MD, Veeda Clinical Research

The incentivisation measures announced for sunrise industries, which include genomics and pharmaceutical research and development, will augment our national capacities in these sectors. Encouraging collaboration among academia, industry and public institutions and the push for Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission are strong measures to aggregate our national resources for accelerating innovation in drug development and access to universal health in our country.

The direction that the government has taken is a positive step towards boosting the life sciences sector : Vijay Chawla, Partner and Head – Life Sciences, and Head – Risk Advisory, KPMG India

The budget reflects a new India moving towards greater mental health initiatives and increasing digitalisation for life sciences as a sector. It highlights the importance of a strong healthcare infrastructure backed by digital investments for long-term benefits in democratising the healthcare industry. A PLI scheme has also been introduced in the healthcare sector to reduce dependency on imports. The 35 per cent year-on-year increase in budgetary support to capital expenditure to Rs 7.5 lakh crores can boost spending on construction of hospitals and healthcare facilities, production of equipment, medical machinery as well as ICT equipment which can foster developments and further strengthen the healthcare sector. Overall, the sector seems poised for a fundamental shift with the implementation of a National Digital Health Ecosystem, National Tele Mental Health programme, continuation of Sabka Saath, Sabka Prayas, PLI schemes and Jal Jeevan Mission. The direction that the government has taken is a positive step towards boosting the life sciences sector.

The use of digital technologies will give birth to the exponential growth of nutraceuticals : Amit Srivastava, Chief Catalyst, Nutrify Today

The budget is an excellent one for digital technologies’ application in the healthcare ecosystem. There is a need for seamless integration of stakeholders of the industry, right from pharmacy to clinicians to d