Will look to redesign product portfolio
Sujay Shetty, Leader- Pharma and Life sciences, PwC India
The year 2013 was a mixed one for Indian pharmaceutical industry. Driven by regulatory reform and the desire to rein in healthcare expenditure, many developed countries have increased the use of generic products. These efforts have led to increased opportunities for Indian companies where pharma exports have shown robust growth. Many Indian companies have launched new products in the US and other advanced markets. Depreciation of the Indian rupee vis-a-vis major world currencies have also aided the export growth.
The growth in the domestic market, however, has slowed down considerably to 9.8 per cent in 2013 from 16.6 per cent in 2012. Drug Price Control Order 2013 has had an impact on the topline growth of pharma companies.
Challenges with product off take by stockists and introduction of free medicine schemes in some states have also impacted growth in the domestic market. Delays in approvals for clinical trials as well regulatory issues like restriction on FDI in pharma, uniform code for sales and marketing, compulsory licensing have also had an adverse impact on the pharma sector in India.
2014: Renew and redesign
Looking ahead to 2014, Indian companies will look to redesign their product portfolio keeping in mind the price control requirements. They will look to take advantage of the opportunities offered by biosimilars. To be able to capitalise on these opportunities, Indian pharma companies would need to renew their focus on manufacturing quality to ensure that they are adherent to the norms of the regulatory agencies.
They would also need to focus on enhancing the productivity of their sales forces, improving the manufacturing and supply chain efficiency and improving compliance. Information technology will play a major role in achievement of these objectives.
India has a large pharma industry which has been providing low priced medicines not just for the Indian market but for global customers too. Pharma industry thus has a major role to play in ensuring health security for all.