Additionally, a focus on quality will dominate the agenda for pharma companies in the wake of recent deaths of children in Gambia and Uzbekistan, potentially due to adulterated cough syrups, industry experts told TOI.
The year 2022 had started with the country rolling out booster shots as the Omicron variant became dominant. Pharma companies prepared for the surge, built up huge stocks of key medicines, and launched oral antiviral pills. Thereafter, once the caseload reduced, they got back to boosting non-Covid portfolios and brand-building.
“Pandemic planning is back in the spotlight in the wake of concerns around the spread of Covid in certain countries. Also, the China-plus-one strategy has become important with frequent disruptions, geopolitical issues and emphasis on self-reliance,” said Sujay Shetty, global health industries advisory leader at PwC India.
Zydus Lifesciences chairman Pankaj Patel told TOI, “Despite supply chain challenges due to the surge in demand of certain drugs multiple times in a short period, the industry was able to ensure consistent supplies. Also, vaccine development and supply for the mass vaccination programme proved India is ‘Atma Nirbhar’. ”
Regarding the year ahead, Patel said, “In 2023, the industry is confident of tackling healthcare challenges, if the situation occurs again. It is by no means a small achievement that India today is the only country which has therapies approved for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which are unmet healthcare needs. Also, there is work being done on rare and orphan diseases, which have no treatment as of today, globally”
Quality and innovation will be a core topic for the industry. Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance’s secretary general Sudarshan Jain summed up the main themes as innovation, quality, expanding global reach to Japan, China & Latin America, and self-reliance. “A focus on quality and in particular USFDA requirements will also dominate the agenda,” Shetty added.