Solving the pharma jigsaw puzzle

11:38 AM, 6th January 2021

The new year 2021 has brought in many new approaches for the chemical industry. Set patterns such has procurement of raw materials, buying & selling of chemicals, certification procedures, logistics materials movement, transportation modes all are seeing changes in their way of operations. Added to the product and process level changes, there has been an increased adoption of technology and automation in the segment.

Playing a major role in the chemical industry, the pharmaceuticals industry too is witnessing significant changes in the Covid-19 aftermath. There has been a marked difference in the way the pharma industry is looking at their drug development pipeline and launch strategy, ways of improving healthcare services, reduced interaction with patients and monitoring patient health remotely, among others.

In order to reduce the risk of infection many doctors resorted to digital channels and telemedicine to address patient issues. It was only in cases of any emergency or critical care that patients were allowed to come visit the physicians.

The changes in the pharma landscape has created many jigsaw pieces hanging around. One-by-one the companies and stakeholders are looking to bring them together and create a new finished puzzle.

In the new normal market scenario definitely some of the prominent trends to look out for will be:

- Quicker time-to-market for drug discovery

- Advanced levels of technology and automation adoption

- Remote monitoring of patient health

India is majorly dependent on China for its pharma raw materials. With the spread of Coronavirus in China and shutdown of units, much of the pharma imports into India were affected. Of the total imports of APIs and intermediates into India, China accounts for 65-70 per cent.

To counter the high level of dependence on China, the Government Of India took up the task of creating ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ for the pharma segment. This would also help to manage the supply chain and logistics concerns in the long run.

The government introduced Rs 10,000 crore bulk drugs park and production linked incentives for API manufacturers. This has led to renewed enthusiasm in the pharma segment, with many manufacturers looking to explore raw material manufacturing in the country.

The incentive scheme covers 53 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) which are critical from import dependence on China with few APIs/key starting materials (KSMs) being entirely imported.

Added to this many Indian drug manufacturers are expanding operations and applying for proper certifications in the US markets to improve business prospects overseas.

At the start of another year, wishing everyone an amazing time ahead, from the Chemical Today team. Best wishes to our readers and have a successful year 2021.

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