Chandigarh: India is fast emerging as an inventors’ hub for patents for an assortment of drugs worldwide. Around 15 percent of the total 1.3 lakh patents filed in India from 2013 to 2015 have been contributed by the indigenous pharmaceutical industry.
India is ranked second only to the United States in terms of applications for product patent for drugs with the USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) as revealed during the ongoing 69th Indian Pharmaceutical Congress taking place in Chandigarh.
Largely known for the manufacture of generic drugs, the Indian pharmaceutical industry has started moving up the value chain as it invests more money in research to develop new drugs and reformulate existing ones.
“It was brought to light that India has traditionally been focusing on process patents, but since 2005, importance is being given to product patents. There has been a paradigm shift. Key speakers at the 69th Congress spent Saturday deliberating on the strides being made in this direction of discovering new drug molecules,” said Dr. Shailendra Saraf, Chairman of the IPC’s local organizing committee.
“India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally, accounting for 20 percent of global exports in terms of volume. The country has a large pool of scientists to steer the industry ahead to an even higher level. Presently, over 80 percent of anti-retroviral drugs used to combat AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) are supplied by pharmaceutical companies in India” added Dr. Dhirender Kaushik, the organizing secretary (LOC) of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI).
Dr. Kaushik further observed that “India has emerged as a global hub for the manufacture of formulations, generics and biological. India exports all across the globe. Indian medicines are known for an affordable price. The Indian pharmaceutical market is the third largest in terms of volumes and 13th largest in terms of value, and it accounts for 20 percent in the volume terms and 1.4 percent in value terms of global pharmaceutical industry.”
The UN-backed medicines patent pool has signed six sub licenses with Indian manufacturers Aurobindo, Cipla, Desano, Emcure, Hetero Labs and Laurus Labs, allowing them generic anti-AIDS medicine Tenofovir Alafenamide (TAF) for 112 developing nations.
It is noteworthy that a professional exhibition to showcase new innovations of pharmaceutical machinery, laboratory equipments etc. from India and overseas are being displayed concurrently alongside the technical sessions during the Congress.
“Pharmaceutical Expo-2017, a highly acclaimed resource has roped in with the Congress, to showcase the latest technological advancement in industries and other related fields to budding pharmacists. It is providing an opportunity to students for close interaction with the industrial development. It’s also providing an opportunity for buyers-sellers interaction and possible business opportunities to participating exhibitors” Dr. Kaushik informed.
The three-day event will conclude today with a deliberation on the dual regulation of pharmacy education by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which is a controversial issue.
The issue of creating a separate ministry of pharmaceuticals will also come up, as having pharmaceutical industry being monitored and supervised by the under Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers has not given the desired results, according to participating experts.
“We will be adopting a resolution on the final day which will be submitted to the central government for appropriate action,” said Dr. Saraf.