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Cabinet okays Rs 5k cr PRIP scheme to boost research and innovation

The scheme is set to stimulate collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, Cabinet greenlights Rs 5,000 crore PRIP scheme to boost research and innovation institutions, and start-ups

pharma, medicine, drugs

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Anjali Singh

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In a significant move, the Union Cabinet has given the green light to the National Policy on Research and Development and Innovation in the Pharma-MedTech Sector. This decision is accompanied by the approval of the Scheme for Promotion of Research and Innovation in Pharma-MedTech Sector (PRIP), with a substantial allocation of Rs 5,000 crore for a five-year period spanning from FY24 to FY28.

The scheme was rolled out earlier this month by the government with the belief that the Indian pharmaceutical industry has the potential to increase its current 3.4 per cent share of the global market to 5 per cent by the year 2030.

The National Policy focuses on three key areas: strengthening the regulatory framework, incentivising investment in innovation, and enabling an ecosystem for innovation and research. The policy aims to accelerate drug discovery and development, foster collaboration between industry and academia, and streamline existing policies to optimise research resources.

The PRIP scheme, with an allocation of Rs 5,000 crore, focuses on two components: the establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) within existing institutions to strengthen research infrastructure, and promotion of research in priority areas. These priority areas encompass a range of fields such as new chemical and biological entities, precision medicines, medical devices, and antimicrobial resistance solutions.

Research and development in the pharmaceutical and medical technology sectors within public institutions are currently spread across different research departments and institutions. The policy aims to encourage coordination among industry and academia to improve efficiency.

India boasts the world's third-largest pharmaceutical industry by volume, valued at around $50 billion. While the Indian sector has supplied affordable and high-quality generic drugs globally, it faces challenges such as import dependence on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and Key Starting Materials (KSMs), lagging development of biologics, biosimilars and other emerging products, and low technological capacities.

The scheme is set to stimulate collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, research institutions, and start-ups. It will extend support to established pharmaceutical companies and start-ups alike.

The policy's approach, along with the scheme, is projected to yield benefits such as reducing import dependence, improving overall healthcare indices, creating high-end research and innovation jobs, fostering collaboration, and developing world-class research infrastructure.

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First Published: Aug 29 2023 | 5:56 PM IST

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