Prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to help the supply chains of the US, Brazil, and Israel for hydroxychloroquine drugs opened a door of opportunities for India’s Pharma sector. The Indian drug manufacturers such as Ipca Laboratories and Zydus Cadila have increased their production ten-fold within weeks in the middle of a lockdown. There is already a high demand for Indian drugs due to its cheap prices which fits both developed and developing nations. Most nations are the primary export destinations for Indian pharmaceutical Industry.
Many big organizations such as UNICEF, UNITAID, and others depend on India’s generic drugs for their aid programs and treatments. COVID-19 crisis has led many nations to put their hope in the Indian pharmaceutical industry. India could grab this golden opportunity as it did during the Y2K threat, where the Indian IT services came to rescue the mess dysfunctional coding system had created. Most of the same scope now awaken the health sector in India. Drug manufacturers, who have struggled in recent years to reach the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s strict quality requirements, now have the ability to shake off the collective stigma they are suffering from.
This can be achieved by investing in more R&D for drug and pharmaceutical research in India (in public medical schools and universities) and providing more opportunities for the private sector to increase its export channel output. Increasing medical tourists in India by promoting medical tourism can also build trust in Indian Medical System. Even though these opportunities for India’s Pharma sector will ensure the growth of pharma exports, it still has a long road to go and many factors to consider.
It is now up to the industry to build on this golden opportunity until the world returns to China’s sourcing — whose giant plants have turned out to be bulk drugs and intermediaries on a scale that leaves no space for India.