Dr Ajit Dangi, President & CEO, Danssen Consulting
While most reforms carried out by the Modi Government in the past four and a half years were incremental in nature, GST and IBC (Insolvancy & Bankruptcy Code ) were truly game changers. GST with E-way bill has benefitted many pharma companies having pan India presence, significantly improving the efficiency of their logistics, distribution and effective tracking of the supply chain due to E-way bill.
Similarly, IBC/ National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) has helped to resolve many long pending issues as we have seen in case of Orchid Pharma & Sterling Biotech. 23 point jump in the World Bank ranking for Ease of Doing Business from 100 to 77 has improved credit worthiness of Indian businesses in the eyes of foreign investor. However, we have a long way to go. Income tax reduction to 25 per cent for companies with turnover less than Rs 250 crore will benefit many pharma MSMEs to improve their profitability. The Commerce Ministry is working on new MEIS to make it WTO compliant. On the regulatory front, several new amendments such as Draft OTC policy, online pharmacy, new rules for clinical trials, GMP etc. will go a long way in rationalising and upgrading many practices.
Ayushman Bharat will also benefit pharma companies by expanding the market. While initiatives like Digital India, Make in India, etc, will also benefit the industry, these will mainly remain works in progress. The new government which will take office in May 2019 has its work cut out. First priority would be to move from price control to price monitoring of drugs, as indicated in the Draft Pharma Policy. Similarly, our over-dependency on Chinese API is a major geopolitical risk and has to be tackled with urgency by developing several API parks with appropriate incentives. On the regulatory front, having a unified FDA Agency on the lines of US FDA needs to be made operational on priority. The plan to reduce the weighted deduction available for in-house R&D to 100 per cent by 2020 is a retrograde step, and the 150 per cent deduction should be continued for another five years.
The plan to increase the number of NIPERs in the country should be accelerated with emphasis on newer technologies like AI, Block Chain, IoT, 3D printing, etc, to make the Industry future-ready and globally competitive. Many of these things can be resolved speedily if we have a dedicated and independent Ministry of Pharma. Lets hope that the future of Indian Pharma is brighter than before.
Ratings for schemes on a scale of 10
- Make in India- 5
- Digital India – 6
- GS T Implementation- 6
- Drug Policy – 5
- Ayushman Bharat – 6
- Jan Aushadhi Kendras – 4