Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pharmaceuticals in India

Most Parma companies operating in India, even the multinationals pharmaceutical industry, employ Indians almost exclusively from the lowest ranks to high level management. Mirroring the social structure, firms are very hierarchical. Homegrown pharmaceuticals, like many other businesses in India, are often a mix of public and private enterprise.

The lack of patent protection made the Indian market undesirable to the multinational companies that had dominated the market, and while they streamed out, Indian companies started to take their places. They carved a niche in both the Indian and world markets with their expertise in reverse-engineering new processes for manufacturing drugs at low costs. 

Although some of the larger companies have taken baby steps towards drug innovation, the industry as a whole has been following this business model until the present. Companies are also starting to adapt their product development processes to the new environment. This approach remains untouched by the new patent regime and looks to increase in the future.

All of these changes are ultimately good for the Indian pharmaceutical industry, which suffered in the past from inadequate regulation and large quantities of spurious drugs. They force the industry to reach a level necessary for global competitiveness. The drug discovery process is further hindered by a dearth of qualified molecular biologists.

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