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THE PHARMA REVIEW (AUGUST 2008)

Public Private Partnership: An Introduction

Abstracts: Public Private Partnership (PPP) as the very name suggests, is a strategic collaboration or a symbiotic relationship between government agencies and private enterprises meant to consolidate strengths of both the sectors while addressing issues that both parties cannot address independently. The advantage of such a symbiotic relationship is the negation of problems and merger of key growth areas that lead to substantial augmentation of strategic opportunities.
 
Need for PPP in Life Sciences
Globally, it has been well documented that life science research is a lengthy, complex, expensive and a risky process. Companies are faced with uncertainties where investment in research and development is concerned; increasing investment in research and development has not necessarily resulted in increasing product pipelines. Compounding this problem further is the fact that many companies are facing serious concerns regarding their shrinking pipelines. They are slowly but steadily running out of options to experiment, as the low hanging fruit has already been picked. Many pharmaceutical and biotech companies are realizing the importance of basic biology in product development. Genomics and Proteomics are increasingly being used in today’s drug and diagnostic development. But, most of the expertise for this type of high-end basic research lies with academic research institutes; whereas, experts in private companies have the ability to apply this basic research to develop commercializable, novel products and services. In such a scenario, cooperation between the public and private players in the sector would bring together a lot of advantages that could be applied to overcome the pipeline stress.
Evolution of the Indian Life Sciences Industry
 
The Indian Life Sciences industry has always been geared towards producing low-cost products and services. This can be attributed to the limited resource availability, which forced the Government in the 70’s to encourage process innovation rather than product innovation. While such a policy has helped India gain center stage in the global generic industry, it has led to a complacent attitude towards developing innovative products. With India’s entry in the WTO and it becoming a signatory to the TRIPS agreement, this lack of innovative ability has become a hindrance to the local drug industry. The industry has realized that in the long run, innovation would be the driving force and genericization and process reengineering abilities can only take them so far. This has led to substantial financial investment in R&D activities.
 

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