Discuss challenges and growing opportunities in the pharma sector
IIHMR University Jaipur recently conducted Pharma Summit 2017 in Jaipur to discuss the opportunities and challenges in pharma sector. The seminar was attended by Atul Kumar Nasa, President, Indian Pharmacy Graduates Association, Rajendra Talele, Head Clinical Development Services- Accutest Research Laboratories, Deve Babre, Associate Vice President, Tata Consulting Services, Mumbai, Sachin Tadge, Project Manager, Cognizant Mumbai.
Dr SD Gupta, Chairman, IIHMR University Jaipur said, “Despite price capping, demonetisation and GST implementation – all of which are perceived to impact the pharma sector adversely, this industry will continue to grow and the major growth engines will be domestic sales, exports, an ageing population, health insurance coverage, increases in per capita spending, medical tourism etc. All these factors combined together put more pressure on the effective management, governance, availability and accessibility of pharma products, especially in remote areas. This poses increasing challenges for pharma managers not only in term of demanding effective leadership skills but also in the sector’s demand for quality manpower that can hit the ground running.”
Deve Babre, Associate Vice President, Tata Consulting Services said, “Due to high growth rate in domestic and overseas market, there is a strong need of pharma management graduates in sales, marketing, KPO’s, medical writing and communication, medical devices, supply chain and logistics, hospital industry, healthcare communications and pharma digital marketing business categories. The pharma sector is emerging and is mostly chosen by young candidates for fast career progression, thereby being the number one choice for both pharmacy and non-pharmacy graduates, which later on choose formal pharmaceutical management education programme and get domain expertise which is needed in pharma and healthcare sector.”
Dr Gupta added, “The industry inspite of many challenges will create 58000 more job opportunities in the pharma sector and we expect the industry to grow upto 45 per cent by 2025.”
Dr Ashok Peepliwal, Associate Professor at School of Pharmaceutical Management, IIHMR University Jaipur said, “In the last five years, there has been a growth in non-communicable diseases. Segments like cardiovascular, anti-diabetes, anti-cancers, anti-depressants are the fastest growing areas of concern due to rapid urbanisation and changes in life-style patterns. The Union Budget of 2017 addressed this issue, and prompted the government to recommend tertiary and secondary hospitals to launch ‘Wellness Centres’ and to make the Indian public aware of ‘Public Health’ challenges. It is notable that these actions have shifted the onus on to prominent educational institutions to deliver healthcare management professionals especially in the field of primary health, hospital administration, pharmaceutical management and public health.”
Rajendra Talele, Head Clinical Development Services- Accutest Research Laboratories, said, “Keeping in mind the surge in the pharma sector, one must not neglect certain aspects of the Indian pharma sector which is highly unorganised and fragmented in nature. It has nearly 25,000 companies, only 330 are organised. Total employable candidates with B Pharm degrees were 42.3 per cent in 2016 as against those 40.62 per cent in 2015. Also as per the industry wise hiring targets for women in pharma and healthcare sector the total target is about 38.67 per cent women as per the India Skill Report and the total employability of women is only about 28.28 per cent which calls for the need of gender diversity to be maintained in the pharma industry.”
The Pharma Summit was concluded by discussing trends along with various other aspects that could give impetus to the growth of the pharma sector. Biosimilars and biologics are burgeoning sectors in 2017 also major scientific and technological advances, coupled with socio-demographic changes and increasing demand for medicines will revive the pharma industry’s fortunes in another 10 to 20 years. Other trends like increase in coverage of health insurance, advancement in medical technology and penetration of mobile health services will give further impetus to the growth of the Indian pharma industry.