Indian pharma experts expect strengthening of healthcare infrastructure, service delivery capacity and women-focused initiatives, ET HealthWorld
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Indian pharma experts expect strengthening of healthcare infrastructure, service delivery capacity and women-focused initiatives, ET HealthWorld

Authors: Prabhat Prakash and Abhijeet Singh

Mumbai: Many esteemed economists across the world say that the annual budget is more than just numbers. It is a statement of the government’s priorities and a roadmap for the future. If it is a newly formed government, it becomes even more important and influential.

In this regard, several experts from the Indian pharmaceutical industry shared with ETPharma their expectations from the upcoming Union Budget 2024-25 of the newly formed government.

Shweta Rai, Country Head – South Asia, Bayer Pharmaceuticals

“The Union Budget 2023 has given a boost to pharmaceutical research and development (R&D) through new schemes and allocations. We expect the government to continue its focus on expanding R&D in the upcoming Union Budget. Health Minister JP Nadda’s strategic focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and expansion of Ayushman Bharat to the elderly population in his 100-day programme is a welcome move in the context of growing ageing population and rising incidence of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and chronic kidney disease. We hope that increased budget allocations in these areas will help make innovative therapies available to people across the country.

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We expect the focus on women’s health, announced in the interim budget earlier this year, to be sustained in this Union Budget. As India moves towards integrating digital health solutions, we expect budgetary provisions that will strengthen healthcare infrastructure and service delivery capabilities. These investments are crucial to increase the efficiency and accessibility of healthcare services, ultimately ensuring better health outcomes and quality of life for all citizens.”

Dr. Saloni Wagh, Director, Supriya Lifescience Ltd

“Looking forward to the Union Budget, we hope that it will benefit the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Expanding healthcare coverage to ASHA and Anganwadi workers through Ayushman Bharat will recognise their crucial contribution to India’s rural healthcare system. Improving maternal and child healthcare programmes will improve service delivery and health outcomes for vulnerable communities. Empowering women, with special emphasis on entrepreneurship and improving their quality of life, remains a priority. We urge the government to prioritise research and development (R&D) and innovation in the pharmaceutical sector, and also improve infrastructure. These steps are essential to maintain India’s competitive edge in the global markets and effectively address health challenges. The government’s commitment to provide over Rs 30 crore of Mudra Yojana loans to women entrepreneurs is commendable. The upcoming Budget offers a significant opportunity to realise the ‘Viksit Bharat’ objective. We expect increased efforts to increase women’s participation in the workforce through skill development and entrepreneurship, ensuring their key role in the progress of our nation. R&D incentives such as tax breaks and financial support, as well as easier access to imported inputs, could help reduce the cost of production. In addition, a focus on manufacturing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) would encourage greater local manufacturing and value addition in India. Prioritizing these measures will be crucial to support sustainable growth in the coming years.”

Dr. Sujit Paul, Group CEO, Zota Healthcare Ltd

“The newly elected government should prioritise promotional and preventive health measures as well as sanitation under the Swachh Bharat Mission. The comprehensive programme should aim at transforming the healthcare sector, which is crucial to creating a healthy India. Increasing government expenditure on healthcare is essential to achieve universal health coverage and effectively address pressing issues. Expanding the Ayushman Bharat scheme and implementing the revised timeline for manufacturing of quality medicines and the marketing code for the pharmaceutical industry should be top priorities for the health ministry and the Department of Pharmaceuticals.”

Deepak Pahwa, Director of Delair

“The pharmaceutical industry is optimistic about the upcoming budget, especially after the government implemented enhanced quality control measures like Good Manufacturing Practices and revised Schedule M. With the significant progress made by the Indian pharmaceutical sector globally, the increased budget allocations can strengthen our international position. We envisage initiatives to encourage R&D to support local manufacturing of high-quality pharmaceutical products. Moreover, PLI schemes could go a long way in setting up advanced manufacturing facilities and integrating state-of-the-art technology and machinery. These steps are essential to promote innovation and sustainable growth in the industry.”

  • Published on July 11, 2024 at 01:22 PM IST

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