Health Minister Dr Sudhakar exhorts Pharma companies to leverage Bengaluru’s healthtech and medtech startup ecosystem for growth

Pramesh S Jain & Dr B Thomas (Special correspondent)


ealth,Family Welfare and Medical Education Minister Dr.K.Sudhakar on Tuesday called upon the large pharmaceutical companies to set up their units or facilities in Bengaluru which is slowly emerging as the Startup Capital for healthcare systems in the country.

Speaking after inaugurating a conclave on pharma sector here,he said the large companies can have its units,facilities or Research & Development laboratories as there are 2300 startup companies associated with the healthcare system alone in Bengaluru.

In the rest of the State there are 12,000 startup companies.

We need solid policies for the growth of the pharma sector and the Government of India headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is working in this direction.

We have the highest number of pharma graduates,Post graduates graduating every year.

Besides,we have national institutes which are involved in training our skilled youths.

Similarly,there are Multinational Companies which are also supporting in R&D and innovation which are the key factors for the future of Pharma business in the country.

The Minister said a lot of patents for branded molecules would expire between 2018 and 2024 and the Indian pharma companies must take note of the same to work in this direction.The production cost also also matters.

But when they compare the cost of production to the United States of America, the cost was not even one third in India.

They have a huge opportunity in this sector.A lot of MNCs want to set up units in India thanks to large facilities, pro-sector policies,and a conducive atmosphere to develop their products.

Biopharma has immense potential but our growth has not been remarkable in the manufacturing of Generic Medicine.

Presently, India’s share was 1.5 per cent of the total global production.There was a lot of scope to triple this figure in the next five years.

India’s share must reach at least 8 per cent in the global share and in this the Indian companies must lay emphasis.He said India is a key player in the world pharma industry.

The Covid times was the defining moment for India to showcase or the world to witness that India played a very crucial role in terms of giving a lot of essential medicine at that time Chloroquine.

Many countries requested India to share the medicine and our Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji was generous enough to deliver this medicine to as many as 30 to 40 countries thanks to pharma companies.

What an incredible journey it has been for the pharma sector.

I still remember that in the 60′ and 70s,India could only produce only 1.5 per cent of the medicine out of the total required for the country.

But today,we produce 85 per cent of India’s needs. This has been the incredible journey of pharma companies and I will like to compliment every company which has made India proud.

Earlier to that we were dependent on importing medicine for our consumption and all our neighbouring countries are so much grateful to the leadership and this country for fulfilling their needs.


Dr Sudhakar said earlier,we all know that any vaccine to come out would take a minimum of 10 good years to fully standardise and to be accepted in the market.

There are some vaccines which have taken centuries to get developed leoprosy,smallpox ( it took more than a century) and Rotavirus took many years before it came into the actual use.

But the Covid vaccine,thanks to out brilliant scientists and researchers,we not only we were able to develop the vaccine along with the countries like US, Russia and UK, we were also able to homegrown vaccines thanks to Bharat Biotech that came out with the vaccine, called Covaxin.

This has made the India proud. We are the only country probably after China who has surpassed over 200 crore and above doses of vaccine to our people.This is an incredible journey of this industry”.He said ”

Today,from being a developing nation, India has to fight with the developed nations in the field of pharma industry.

Today I am happy that out of all vaccines that the globe requires,we are able to generate and supply 50 per cent of the global vaccine.

This speaks volumes about our companies.But the biggest important factor of the pharma industry has been the generic drug,supply and manufacturing which has become synonymous with our country.

We are catering around 20 per cent of the global cobsump[tion of the Generic medicine.The manufacturing of the Generic Medicine has not only helped our own people but also people of Latin america,Africian and others which are depending upon our generic medicine.

It has also helped for easy and affordable healthcare in the country without compromising the standardisation of medicine.

Secondly, the largest food and drug administration approved manufacturing drug has been present in the country.

So we knew before 1970, we had 5 per cent and today they have occupied 20 percent of the global market for generic medicine.

The Minister said there is a huge economy for Biopharma which will be more than 200 billion dollars by 2025.

There are 2500 Indian Biotech companies and they need to make their presence felt.We need huge investments, we can term it as a risky investment but there are MNCS,Private companies and the government to chip in.

We have neglected all neglected diseases.Most of the developed countries have neglected tropical diseases which have a huge scope.

Over 2 billion people are affected world-wide and two lakh people die every year.On the one side there is Financial aspects and the growth on the other side.

Need of the hour was to develop NTD medicine in a big way.Indian companies must focus on tropical diseases medicine as there is a huge scope for this.

Many tropical countries depend onIndian companies to cater all these medicines.The World’s first leprosy vaccine was developed in India,out of 18 vaccines available in the globe six are from India.

The ICMR is doing everything to support this cause.Dr Sudhakar said In India,the clinical trials are not as cumbersome as other developed countries.

Covid or other occasions,the kind of population they have is a great advantage for clinical tests. The 8 per cent of the world population is in India.that will help the new companies to go through the new trials.

Cost of the clinic trial is very less and it would be one tenth of the cost.The MNCs want to try vaccines in India.

The India pharma journey has been exemplanary. Thanks to ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharath’ we are self-reliant.Let us grow Bharath Pe Vishwa Nirbhar.