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THE PHARMA REVIEW (NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2014)

Moving Up the Technology Curve Through Innovation

Dr. Ajit Dangi

Introduction: The Industries achievements are certainly laudable but before we start patting ourselves on the back, we must realize that our contribution to global pharmaceutical sales, which is about 1 Trillion US$, is less than 2 %. Why does this happen? This is because we have commoditized our industry by focusing on imitation through reverse engineering rather than innovation. While we should take pride in being labeled `Pharmacy to the World`, time has now come to harness our technological skills to move up the value chain Through` innovation. Otherwise we will remain a fringe player in the global Pharma landscape. Can we leapfrog from Generics to discovery research? While many Indian companies have very active R&D set ups, their output is modest to say the least. That`s because discovery research is time consuming, requires deep pockets and it is risky. It takes anywhere between 8-10 years to come out with a new molecule, 1 to 1.5 Billion US$ in investment and only one in about 5000 molecules studied ends up on chemist`s shelf. What therefore is the strategic road map for resource starved economy like India? We, therefore, must change gears to move up the value chain through innovation. Following are some of the case studies worth emulating. 

 

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