Indian pharmaceutical companies need to rework their chain of work because of the US-China trade war and China exiting polluting sectors like chemicals, said G V Prasad, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry’s national committee on the industry.
Indian drug companies have been dependent on the drug intermediates produced by Chinese companies owing to cheaper prices, but the situation has now changed with US Government's tough stance on Chinese products, besides the shutting down of low-value and high polluting chemicals and intermediate manufacturing units by China itself.
Prasad, who is co-chairman and managing director of Dr Reddy's Laboratories Limited, said "it is true that the US-China trade war is going to give us a window of opportunity to expand our industry. Also China on its own is exiting the low value-added chemicals manufacturing, so we have no other alternative but to make those raw materials locally. Either way, the backward and forward integration by Indian pharma companies has become a need of the hour."
According to Prasad, the relevance of Indian pharma sector as a provider of affordable alternative to the world remains intact and the US itself had saved $80 billion in healthcare costs on account of the affordable generic medicines produced and sold by Indian companies.
Even China presents itself as a big market opportunity for the Indian generic companies going forward as the Chinese Government has realised the significance of affordability of medicines to its people and started opening the doors for Indian generics in the wake of the high cost cancer therapies in that country, he said at a Health and Pharma Conclave.
Prasad also maintained that the affordability was not an issue in India but lack of a robust health insurance and negligible focus on preventive and primary healthcare were causing the problems in healthcare of people.
He said it was high time Indian pharma industry adopted newer technologies and automation in a big way. Responding to a question, he said the digital marketing technologies would reduce the dependence on medical representatives and save some costs.