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The Indian pharmaceutical industry has emerged as a significant contributor to the global pharmaceutical industry. As per the report by the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI), “India is the largest provider of generic drugs globally. Indian pharmaceutical sector industry supplies over 50 per cent of global demand for various vaccines, 40 per cent of generic demand in the US and 25 per cent of all the medicine in the UK. Presently over 80 per cent of the antiretroviral drugs used globally to combat AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is supplied by Indian pharmaceutical firms.”
In 2017, the Indian pharmaceutical industry was valued at $33 billion. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22.4 per cent over 2015–20 to reach $55 billion. India’s pharmaceutical exports stood at $17.27 billion in 2017-18. In 2018-19 these exports are expected to cross $19 billion.
Structure of the Pharmaceutical Industry
The Indian pharmaceutical companies majorly consist of two segments namely API’s (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) and formulations. API’s or bulk drugs are raw chemical ingredients which are used to manufacture formulations. Formulations are the end products made to treat different kinds of ailments and these are in the form of tablets, injections, syrups etc. Both bulk drugs and formulations are usually available in both branded and generic forms. Branded products are the ones which are usually invented and patented by that respective company. Generic products are the one exactly like branded pharma products in formulation usage and action. These generic drugs are produced once the patent of the inventor company expires. Generic drugs are much cheaper than branded drugs. 70% of revenue in the Indian pharma industry is from generic drugs.
Trends in Pharma and Healthcare Sector
Phani Mitra, VP (Analytics and Strategy) of Dr Reddy’s Lab stated “There are four areas that are changing the pharma industry. The US markets and the European markets are going for tremendous customer consolidation. Secondly, the approval rate of drugs in the US is pretty quick now.
Previously, it used to take a year or 18 months to get a product approved but now it happens in less than 6 months. So, drug approvals becoming faster and it puts the pressure back on the innovation cycle. What we could have spent 3 or 5 years innovating a product, now it has to be done in a year and a half. The third big shift is on the quality. The expectation of life-saving medicines is shifting. Quality was generally done in two buckets. People manufacture a product and then check for quality which is typically called the Quality control (QC) check. Now, the industry moving towards, “quality in the process”. What it means that I cannot have a bad product and then the QC rejects it and then I manufacture again. The time does not allow it. The fourth biggest shift is the increased demand for healthcare and not enough resources for it.”
What it means for Analytics in Pharma and Heathcare?
Gaurav Tripathi, Co-founder, Innoplexus commented “Making data and insights available instantly takes the pain out of data collection, curation and analysis, which means companies can make more informed decisions faster. [The industry] is currently entering a wave of innovation thanks to disruptive, computer-based technologies. Paradoxically, the evolution of machine learning, which raises the threshold of intelligent analysis beyond that of the human brain, can teach us more about what it means to be human”. Innoplexus helps companies leverage analytics across various drug development process.
Bigger companies like Dr. Reddy’s are slowly using analytics to be ahead of the competition. Mukesh Rathi and CIO at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories said “We are now working on creating the ‘Data Lakes’ for various parts of the organisation – R&D, Manufacturing and Quality, Sales and Marketing to derive insights by applying data science to this Big Data. We have witnessed some early success in gaining insights from both known and unknown hypothesis. Data is at times throws insights which were not intuitively known. For instance, the constrained resource in the shop floor has shifted, correlation of a number of mistakes in the lab with the shift of operation, more than x visits per month are not leading to additional brand recall, etc.”
Vasant Narasimhan, Global Head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer of Novartis said “We want to be leaders in bringing data analytics into our development efforts, clinical trials … whether it is sensors, deep learning or machine learning, we are already doing that and increasingly rolling out these efforts. This is a top priority as we believe that it will enable us to drive down cost of drug development.”
The recent macro trends in this space is also proving to be conducive for the innovators as more and more startups are trying to solve problems related to healthcare delivery and drug development.
Read the full article in the Analytics India Mag.