The constitutional Amendment Bill to introduce Goods & Service Tax (GST) was conceived over a decade ago and after years of political showmanship, GST is finally set to roll out from 1st July 2017. Taxes such as Excise, VAT, Service Tax, Octroi among others will be bound tegether by GST, thus amalgamating several central & State Govt taxes into a single tax.

Expectations of increased GDP growth, simplified tax administration and reduction in the overall tax burden on goods and services are very high. Perceived as 'One Nation One Tax', in its present form we have State GST, Inter-state GST and Central GST, rates of tax varying from 0% to 28%, and numerous state and central legislation ! Looks rather complicated than simple but hopefully it will all fall into place.

For the Pharma Sector, GST is expected to have a positive effect in terms of ease of doing business though implementation challenges of GST will be many. Different rates for life saving drugs, formulations & API's are more or less in tune with expectations and should not increase price of medicines. However a 12% levy on Ayurveda products may raise a few eye brows !

In addition to implementation issues of GST, the Pharma industry will need to overcome the battle between Generics and Branded Generics. With the Govt's clear push towards compulsory prescribing of Generics, the branded products market is set to take a hit. In a move directed towards the benefit of the masses, it could seriously impact the quality and efficacy of treatment. In our present regulatory environment, quality of generics is an issue. Further the key role in a Generic centric environment will shift from the doctors to the chemists as they will then sell the most profitable Generics to patients.

Donald Trump's push for lower drug prices is expected to benefit Indian pharma sector, the largest supplier of drugs to the United States, but delivering quality product still remains a challenge. USFDA is expected to increase the inspection of Indian manufacturing facilities manifold in the times to come and any non-compliance can lead to issuance of warning letters.

On a positive note, while addressing the annual US-India Biopharma and Healthcare Summit in Boston, the Drugs Controller General (India), Shri G. N. Singh, announced that Indian Govt. is expected to roll out a new drug policy soon with focus on clinical trials. If all goes well, this will bring new projects to the country sooner than expected.

The amendment in the National Health Policy in 2017 after a gap of 14 years, directed towards expanding easy access to medical facilities at affordable prices and improving quality, is an endeavor to create a much needed 'healthy India'.

The winners of the 12th Dr. P D Sethi Annual Award for Best Paper in Pharma Analysis 2016 were announced by The Pharma Review recently. Our heartiest congratulations to the winners of the best, 2nd best and 8 certificates of merit, details of which are available at




Back To Top