Category Archives: Pharma News

Indian Pharma Manufacturing Industry

India today contributes about 22 per cent of the total generic production by volume, third largest exporter of pharma and 11th largest manufacturer by value. There was an inflection point so far in the history of Indian pharma during COVID-19 in 2020 which had positive outcomes for the pharma industry. It was an opportunity to not only cater to the Indians but to the entire world”.’Indian pharma will contribute to play a similar kind of role going forward”.Indian pharma is at the forefront of  tackling non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and emerging diseases with the understanding of technology and disease patterns as Indian pharma did in the case of developing vaccines for COVID-19 and also repurposed drugs for the same. “Indian pharma has crossed the rubicon of being the generic pharma producer in the world and therefore should look beyond as digitilisation will take it much ahead”,

“The Department of Pharmaceuticals (DoP) has launched schemes like bulk drug parks and has issued entrepreneurship and innovation policy guidelines.It should, therefore, adopt innovation hubs with all the players’ like researchers, hospitals, academia, regulators, manufacturers and technology players at one place as is done in the west. The Centre will also encourage industry to invest in specific priority areas and there will centres of excellence for both pharma and medical devices going forward,”

Anti Viral Agents

Bengaluru-based Foundation for Neglected Disease Research (FNDR) and Spanish firm DevsHealth have announced the start of a collaborative project to develop new broad-spectrum antiviral agents for infections caused by flaviviruses such as dengue, Zika,West Nile virus, and Japanese encephalitis, among others. Flaviviruses belong to the Flaviviridae family of viruses and cause more than 400 million human infections per year. Most cases are
mild infections with self-limiting febrile episodes, but some infections cause severe and life-threatening disease with symptoms such as haemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, paralysis, or hepatic failure, among others.

Climate change is affecting global disease distribution, and an increase in flavivirus infection cases has been seen in Europe and North America. This collaboration has the potential to revolutionise the way flavivirus infections are treated. There are currently no drugs available to patients to treat these infections.

Tuberculosis In India

Tuberculosis (TB) is a severe public health issue in India,accounting for a quarter of the global TB burden. While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has set a goal to end the TB epidemic by 2030, India committed to ending the disease by 2025, a mission backed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But the crucial question here is whether it is an achievable target? According to the WHO, only 60 per cent of TB cases in India are notified to the national TB programme. Incidentally, most patients do not seek medical attention at all or are not diagnosed until the disease is in its advanced stages. At this juncture, technology comes in to assist in early and better TB detection. Early detection is a key strategy called out in the Global Plan to End TB.

Challenges on the road

Despite technological advancements, numerous challenges remain in the fight against TB in India. One of the biggest is the lack of access to healthcare in rural and remote locations. Many people in these areas do not have access to the same resources and technology as those living in urban areas. They may not have the necessary awareness to seek medical attention in time; even if they do, the plight of Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in rural locations abates the situation. The PHCs do not have access to diagnostic tools and suffer from a severe shortage of trained personnel to read reports and guide patients onto the correct treatment pathway. All of these factors, coupled with the rising cost of care, make diagnosing and treating TB significantly tougher. Another challenge is the high number of drug-resistant TB cases in India. This type of TB is much harder to treat and requires more expensive, specialised drugs and a longer duration of treatment. Lack of research and an inability to implement measures to cap the treatment and drug costs are aiding the spread of the epidemic.

Though India has a detailed National Strategic Plan for TB elimination, its efficient execution depends on the State Health System. Indian states are at varied maturity levels in the health system, so TB service delivery also varies. In many places, it is affected by a lack of skill set to deliver TB services. While the Government of India focus on decentralised,comprehensive Primary Healthcare delivery is now bearing fruit, it will take more time to implement effectively and become a well-
oiled system.